EcologicalWisdom and inspiration underlying the planning and construction of ancient human settlements: Case study of Hongcun UNESCO world heritage site in China

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Abstract

Human settlements are social-economic-natural complex ecosystems centered on human activities and the most prominent site for the contradictions between humans and the environment. Taking Hongcun, a UNESCO World Heritage site in China, as an example, this paper analyzes the methods and effect of coupling man and nature in Hongcun, summarizes the ecological wisdom of dealing with the relationship between human and nature, and uses this wisdom to shed light on the planning, construction, and management of contemporary urban and rural settlements. Firstly, the study introduces the Human-Natural Intergraded Ecological Planning (HNIEP) model's hypothesis, explaining its foundation and potential principles or approaches. Secondly, using the case study of Hongcun to explain, support, and validate the HNIEP model and its framework, the study found that the unique planning and construction of Hongcun has greatly promoted ecosystem services, such as local microclimate regulation, rainwater runoffregulation, water conservation, landscape aesthetic, and engagement with nature. Thirdly, Hongcun reflects the concept of harmonious coexistence between human and nature, the wisdom of rational use of ecosystem structures, processes and functions, and the wisdom of coupling human activities with the living environment and natural ecosystem. Finally, the paper summarizes the enlightenment brought by both the HNIEP model and Hongcun wisdom to contemporary urban-rural planning and construction management.

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Zheng, S., Han, B., Wang, D., & Ouyang, Z. (2018). EcologicalWisdom and inspiration underlying the planning and construction of ancient human settlements: Case study of Hongcun UNESCO world heritage site in China. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051345

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