Vital importance should be attached to the inheritance of local culture in building new urban communities, experts said during a recent seminar.
Many urban communities are emerging with the advancement of China's urbanization, with some areas increasingly experiencing the aches and pains of development, including high housing prices and consumer prices, environmental degradation and bad traffic.
More than a dozen experts gathered at a seminar in the Luxelakes Park community in Chengdu Tianfu New Area, Sichuan province, on Sept 12, trying to find solutions for these communities using traditional Chinese culture.
"The construction of a new type of community should focus on the inheritance of local culture," said Tan Jihe, president of the Sichuan Provincial Association of History.
Tan Jihe, president of the Sichuan Provincial Association of History, presents his books to a community library at a seminar in the Luxelakes Park community in Chengdu Tianfu New Area, Sichuan province on Sept 12.
He said that today's community construction is far more than merely building structures; more attention should be paid to community cultural development, for culture is the root and soul of a society.
Taking the Luxelakes Park community as an example, Tan said that the local area is rich in history and culture. He added the locale was once home to Liu Yuan, a great thinker from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), whose thoughts about how people should get along with each other and nature are still relevant for community building in modern times.
His words were echoed by Volker Olles, a special associate researcher at the Institute of Taoism and Religious Culture of Sichuan University.
"People need to find their roots," Olles said. He added that the Huaixuan culture created by Liu Yuan once had a significant impact on education, culture, charity and other aspects of life in Sichuan; as such, it is a good starting point for the cultural construction of the Luxelakes Park community.
Renowned cultural scholar Yuan Tingdong offers suggestions for building new urban communities at a seminar in the Luxelakes Park community in Chengdu Tianfu New Area, Sichuan province, on Sept 12.
When it comes to building communities, Olles believes that relationships between people are most important, as well as demonstrating care -- both of which are important in Chinese culture.
"As the old saying goes, distant relatives are not as good as close neighbors," said Yuan Tingdong, a renowned cultural scholar, before adding that traditional Chinese neighborhood relations are harmonious and that we need to regain warmth among neighbors in future communities.
He suggested that during the construction of new communities, a certain proportion of public activity space should be reserved to create opportunities for neighbors to communicate with each other.
Qi Hehui, a professor of literary studies at the Southwest University for Nationalities, offers suggestions for the building of new urban communities at the seminar on Sept 12.
Tian Feng, director of the Luxelakes Park Community Development Foundation, said that public space should provide public affairs information and provide public services to truly play its role.
Luxelakes Park community is the first model community in Chengdu Tianfu New Area to fully implement the new "park city" development concept. It has created three-level neighborhood spaces to provide residents with high-quality public services and diversified life experience. Meanwhile, a variety of activities are also held to enhance relationships among neighbors.
Qi Hehui, a professor of literary studies at the Southwest University for Nationalities, suggested that the community hold activities with unique festival customs to generate cultural identity among residents.
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