Community governance and Urban Design in an Historic Preservation District: The Case of Pingjiang Historic Block in Suzhou, China
Community governance in planning is an emergent topic in China, where urban planning generally has not included community planning as a local participatory practice. This thesis focuses on Suzhou's old communities in the Pingjiang Historic Block, an essential part of the city's unique urban memory. Suzhou’s preservation planning is mainly based on state-driven professional practices that conventionally are only weakly coordinated with community-level self-governance practice. The research is largely descriptive, based on the study of publicly available documents. The thesis includes an urban design section discussing the physical context in the Pingjiang Historic Block, and a review of policy implementations and governance methods used in the historic block. The thesis interprets how community governance operates in the historic block as an element the city’s governmental administration, with potentially useful but still-unrealized interconnections with preservation planning and urban design. The thesis concludes with some tentative recommendations for community governance in this context.
- Urban planning