This paper examines the experiences of two mountain communities-Yinchanggou and Donghekou in the Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, where Yinchanggou's tourism economy and natural park system was destroyed and Donghekou was buried by a landslide. We conducted research surveys on both the communities, interviewing survivors and local officials, and observed the destruction/reconstruction, geological, and living conditions. We suggest that protracted educational processes be put into place so that mountain communities possess a knowledge base to consider long-term disaster prevention when building the economy in the fragile and geo-hazardous conditions of the Longmenshan. The Donghekou Earthquake Ruins Park is an exemplar of turning disaster into sustainable, safe development for small mountain villages. © 2011 Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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