AccScience Publishing / JCAU / Volume 5 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/jcau.0940
Cite this article
47
Download
1347
Views
Journal Browser
Volume | Year
Issue
Search
News and Announcements
View All
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Troglodyte settlements on the Loess Plateau of China: Challenges to sustainable tourism-oriented development

Laura Genovese1* Roberta Varriale2
Show Less
1 Institute of Heritage Science (ISPC), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Milan, Italy
2 Institute for Studies on the Mediterranean (ISMed), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Naples, Italy
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism 2023, 5(2), 0940 https://doi.org/10.36922/jcau.0940
Submitted: 10 May 2023 | Accepted: 2 July 2023 | Published: 25 July 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Revitalization of Architectural Heritage)
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ )
Abstract

Troglodytism is one of the most representative cultural expressions of geo-architecture. On the Loess Plateau of China, several significant examples of this approach to urban development can be found. Sometimes abandoned, sometimes still inhabited, cave settlements are precious examples of living heritage in rural and internal areas, which are at the risk of disappearance. Tourism is one of the strategies to revitalize these settlements, but it might be both an opportunity and a risk. A balance between conservation and development must be found, and a paradigm change is needed. Chinese cases can serve as a reference for solutions for this type of cave heritage, on which a debate has only recently begun at a global scale. This study introduces the classification of cave settlements based on the Underground Built Heritage theoretical approach. Chinese cases in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces are illustrated on a comparative level. Tourism-oriented reuse and enhancement practices are analyzed and discussed in the context of national and international scenarios. In addition, criticalities and opportunities for the future are illustrated.

Keywords
Troglodyte settlements
Yaodong cave dwellings
Rural and remote areas
Underground Built Heritage
Tourism
Sustainable development
Funding
Some in-field research has been financially supported by Italy-China bilateral projects between the National Research Council of Italy and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage of Beijing, China, entitled “Valorization- Tourism-Participation. Developing Alternative Integrated Solutions for Less Promoted Historic Sites (2016 – 2018),” and “Identification and Interpretation of a Cultural Route: The Example of Maritime Silk Road (2019 – 2022).”
References

Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Available from: https:// sdgs.un.org/2030agenda [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Ancient Residences in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces. (2008). Available from: https://whc.unesco.org/en/ tentativelists/5322 [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 25].

 

Cave Building Technique-national Intangible Cultural Heritage. (2021). Available from: https://www.yuncheng.gov.cn/ home/doc/2021/09/13/140295.shtml [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Chen, Z. H. (2004). Qikou Ancient Town. Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press. (in Chinese).

 

Chinese Paper-cut. (2009). Available from: https://ich.unesco.org/ en/rl/chinese-paper-cut-00219 [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

COST ACTION 18110. (2019-2023). Underground Built Heritage as Catalyser for Community Valorisation. Available from: https://underground4value.eu [Last accessed: 2023 May 01].

 

Edwards, J. A., & i Coit, J. C. L. (1996). Mines and quarries: Industrial heritage tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2):341-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/0160-7383(95)00067-4

 

Fan, L. (2019). Research on the Protection and Development of the Cultural Landscape of Shaanxi Cave Dwelling. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Economics and Management, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences (EMEHSS 2019). Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research. Vol. 325. p.163-167. https://doi.org/10.2991/emehss-19.2019.33

 

Feng, S. (2011). On the Evolution of Ecological Space of Traditional Village Culture. Beijing, China: Science Press.

 

Genovese, L. (2021). The underground cultural landscape as an essential component of local identity an implementation solution of the UNESCO recommendation of historic urban landscape. In: G Pace and R Salvarani (eds.). Underground Built Heritage Valorisation: A Handbook. Rome: Edizioni CNR. p.133-140. Available from: https://www.cnr.it/sites/ default/files/public/media/attivita/editoria/underground_ built_heritage_valorisation.pdf [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 25].

 

Genovese, L., Luvidi, L., Varriale, R., & Fratini, F. (2019). Italy and China sharing best practices on the sustainable development of small underground settlements. Heritage, 2(1):813-825. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010053

 

Genovese, L., Luvidi, L., Varriale, R., & Fratini, F. (2021). Vernacular underground Chinese villages: The Yaodong. In: L Luvidi, F Fratini and J Zhang (eds.). Past and Present of the Earthen Architecture in China and Italy. Rome: Edizioni CNR. p. 229-238. Available from: https://www.cnr.it/sites/ default/files/public/media/attivita/editoria/volume_china_ elettronico.pdf [Last accessed: 2023 May 01].

 

Golany, G. S. (1992). Chinese Earth-sheltered Dwellings: Indigenous Lessons for Modern Urban Design. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press.

 

Han, W., & Li, T. (2014). Ecological research configuration of cave architecture in Wang Yu village of Shanxi Province. BioTechnology an Indian Journal, 10:4070-4079. Available from: https://www.tsijournals.com/articles/ecological-research-configuration-of-cave-architecture-in-wang-yu-village-of-shanxi-province.pdf [Last accessed: 2023 May 01].

 

Horden, P., & Kinoshita, S. (2014). A Companion to Mediterranean History. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118519356

 

Hsing, Y. (2010). The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China. New York: Oxford University Press.

 

Huang, L. M. (2021). Role of Local Institutions in Rural Tourism Development in Dazhai Community, Guilin, China. Preprints.org, 2021050249. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202105.0249.v1

 

ICOMOS. (2022). International Cultural Heritage Tourism Charter. Available from: https://www.icomosictc.org/ p/2022-icomos-international-cultural.html [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Knapp, R. G. (2000). China’s Old Dwellings. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press.

 

Laureano, P. (1993). I Giardini di Pietra. Torino, Italy: Bollati Beringhieri.

 

Li, F. Q. (2009). Reconstruction of Rural Areas in the Modern Context: Research on the Economic and Social Changes of Longji Ping’an Village. Beijing: Science Press. (in Chinese).

 

Li, J., & Li, Y. (2018). Discussion on the “activation” of dwellings in traditional villages: A case study of Shanzhou Silo-cave of Beiying village, Hen Province. Urban Architects, 28:117-120. (in Chinese).

 

Li, Z. G., & Sun, J. (2013). Study on the green ecological view of the cave dwellings and its innovation and development. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 409-410:377-380. https://doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.409- 410.377

 

Li, Z., Peng, L., Raymond, L., Lijie, Y., Li, X., Yang, R., Leung, H. H., Chen, P., & Wang, X. (2021). Unique traditional villages on the Loess Plateau of China: Historic evolution and challenges to sustainable development of silo-caves, Heritage Science, 9:118. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-021-00591-4

 

Liu, Y. (2014). Research on the Decorative Art of Folk House in the Cave Dwellings in Northern Shaanxi and its Folk Culture. Xi’an: Northwestern University.

 

Ma, Y. Y. (2006). Discussion on the value and protection of Qikou ancient town. World of Antiquity, 2: 19-22. (In Chinese).

 

Pace, G., & Salvarani, R. (eds.). (2021). Underground Built Heritage Valorisation A Handbook. Rome: CNR Edizioni. Available from: https://www.cnr.it/sites/default/files/public/ media/attivita/editoria/underground_built_heritage_ valorisation.pdf [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Ping, H., & Chunyang, W. (2022). Changes of settlement pattern of Jingsheng village in Lingshi county in Shanxi province during Ming and Qing dynasties. Historical Geography Research, 42(3): 74-86.

 

Qi, Y. (2023). Research on the changes in cultural landscape of tourist-type traditional Chinese villages from the perspective of cultural memory: Taking Anzhen village in Chongqing as an example. Land, 12(4):816. https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040816

 

Rural Revitalisation Promotion Law. (2021). Available from: https://www.orfonline.org/research/decoding-rural-revitalisation-xi-jinpings-new-priority [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor. (2014). Available from: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1442 [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Tourism in the 2030 Agenda. Available from: https://www.unwto. org/tourism-in-2030-agenda [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Urdiales, V. M. E., & Maccarone, A. (2011). Cave dwellings in the Mediterranean basin. Geographica Pannonica, 15(4):119-126. https://doi.org/10.5937/geopan1104119v

 

Varriale, R. (2014). Undergrounds in the Mediterranean: Ten urban functions from the “other” side of Mediterranean cultural heritage in a long-term perspective. Global Environment, 7:198-245.

 

Varriale, R. (2019). Re-inventing underground space in Matera. Heritage, 2(2):1070-1084. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020070

 

Varriale, R. (2021). “Underground built heritage”: A theoretical approach for the definition of an international class. Heritage, 4(3):1092-1118. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4030061

 

Varriale, R., & Genovese, L. (2021). Underground built heritage (UBH) as valuable resource in China, Japan and Italy. Heritage, 4(4):3208-3237. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040180

 

Varriale, R., Genovese, L., Luvidi, L., & Fratini, F. (2019). Identification and Interpretation of a Cultural Route: Developing Integrated Solutions for Enhancing the Vernacular Historic Settlemets. In: S Yong, G Jakhelln and M Correia (eds.). Proceedings of ICOMOS-CIAV and ISCEAH 2019 International Conference on Vernacular and Earthen Architecture Towards Local Development, Pingyao- China (September 6th-8th, 2019). Shanghai: Tongji University Press, p.601-608.

 

Varriale, R., Parise, M., Leo, M., Genovese, L., & Valese, S. (2022). Underground built heritage in Naples: From Knowledge to monitoring and enhancement. In: S D’Amico and V Venuti (eds.). Springer Handbook of Cultural Heritage Analysis. Vol. 71. p. 2001-2035. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-60016-7

 

Vegas, F., Mileto, C., Cristini, V., & Ruiz Checa, J. R. (2014). Underground cities. In: M Correia, L Dipasquale and S Mecca (eds.). Versus: Heritage for Tomorrow: Vernacular Knowledge for Sustainable Architecture. Florence, Italy: Firenze University Press, p.114-123.

 

Wang, J., Zhao, W., Wang, G., Yang, S., & Pereira P. (2021). Effects of long-term afforestation and natural grassland recovery on soil properties and quality in Loess Plateau (China). Science of the Total Environment, 770:144833. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144833

 

World Bank. (2006). Reengaging in Agricultural Water Management: Challenges and Options. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Publications.

 

World Monument Fund (WMF). Available from: https://www. wmf.org/project/qikou-town [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 20].

 

Xu, D., Fan, C., & Gao, Y. (2019). Technical Innovation and Revitalization of Yaodong Cave Dwellings by Incorporating Reinforced Masonry Construction as an Appropriate Strategy. In: S Yong, G Jakhelln and M Correia (eds.). Proceedings of ICOMOS-CIAV and ISCEAH 2019 International Conference on Vernacular and Earthen Architecture Towards Local Development, Pingyao-China (September 6th-8th, 2019). Shanghai: Tongji University Press, p.548-556.

 

Yan, H. (2018). World Heritage Craze in China: Universal discourse, National Culture, and Local Memory. Oxford: Berghahn.

 

Yan, L., Caiqin, L., & Zhiwen, H. (2017). Conservation of historical and cultural towns and villages in China. Aussie-sino Studies, 3(4):85-97.

 

Yellow River Basin Green Farmland and High-quality Agricultural Development Project. (2022). Available from: https://www. adb.org/projects/documents/prc-54027-002-pp [Last accessed: 2023 Apr 18].

 

Yin, Y. F., & Wu, Z. J. (2008). Architecture landscape and tourism development of ethnic villages: Cases study of the Longji ancient Zhuang ethnic villages, Ping’an villages and Jinzhu Zhuang ethnic villages. Science Information (Academic Research), 10:231-232. (in Chinese).

 

Yong, S., Jakhelln, G., & Correia, M. (eds.). (2019). Proceedings of ICOMOS-CIAV and ISCEAH 2019 International Conference on Vernacular and Earthen Architecture Towards Local Development, Pingyao-China (September 6th-8th, 2019). Vol. 2. Shanghai: Tonji University Press.

 

You, Q., Wen, J., & Li, H. (2019). Research on the Geometric Formo f Cave Architecture in the Southeast of Pingyao. In: S. Yong, G. Jakhelln and M Correia (eds.). Proceedings of ICOMOS-CIAV and ISCEAH 2019 International Conference on Vernacular and Earthen Architecture towards Local Development, Pingyao- China (September 6th-8th, 2019), p.748-755.

 

Yu, Z. (2008). The ancient house in the Loess Mountain. Generally talking about the Li JiaShan’s Cave-house in Qi Kou, Art and Design, 3:303-317.

 

Zan, L., Yu, B., Yu, J., & Yanh, H. (2018). Heritage Sites in Contemporary China: Cultural Policies and Management Practices. London: Routledge.

 

Zhang, L., Lu, P., Lau, R., Yan., L., Li, X., Yang, R., Leung, H. H., Chen, P., & Wang, X. (2021). Unique traditional villages on the Loess Plateau of China: Historic evolution and challenges to sustainable development of silo-caves. Heritage Science, 9:118. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-021-00591-4

 

Zhang, Y., Li, X., Song, W., & Zhai, L. (2016). Land abandonment under rural restructuring in China explained from a cost-benefit perspective. Journal of Rural Studies, 47:524-532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.06.019

Conflict of interest
The authors declare they have no competing interests with any institutes, organizations, or agencies that might influence the integrity of results or objective interpretation of their submitted works.
Share
Back to top
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism, Electronic ISSN: 2717-5626 Published by AccScience Publishing