Comparing landscape values and heritage stakeholders: a case study of West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, China

Rouran Zhang, Steve Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the World Heritage nomination process, the UNESCO World Heritage Programme has historically privileged the discourse of international experts and downplayed that of stakeholders. Taking West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou as an example, this paper compares and analyses the perspectives expressed by international experts, Chinese heritage professionals, local residents and domestic tourists. In the World Heritage nomination and evaluation processes for West Lake undertaken between 2007 and 2011, international experts did not appear to fully comprehend the values articulated by Chinese authorities due to the differences between Chinese and Western cultural histories, philosophies and heritage value systems. The discourse of tourists and local residents, on the other hand, not only engaged with the traditional and contemporary Chinese cultural values embodied in West Lake, but also linked them to personal emotions, experiences and memories, thereby constructing diverse expressions of social value. The case example supports the position that the nomination of World Heritage sites take into account the knowledge and experience of all stakeholders, especially with regard to constructions and justifications of heritage value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2022

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