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Huge plan to restore ancient Xi’an


3/25/2013

Published on Mar 25, 2013

Authorities in the historic Chinese city of Xi’an are planning a major project to restore the ancient urban infrastructure.



Shaanxi province’s capital dates back to the second century BC, and is home to the famed Terracotta Warriors. And now city officials have decided to restore the city’s urban layout to how it originally looked more than two centuries ago.

Xi’an is famous for its Terracotta Warriors, but we have much more than that. With this project, we want to restore the urban layout of Xi’an back to what it was 2,000 years ago,” the state-run China Daily newspaper reported the city’s mayor, Dong Jun, as saying.

Historical records show that the city, originally named Chang’an, was completed in 194BC and consisted of eight main streets, 160 alleys and nine marketplaces. Many ancient cultural sites still exist, and to preserve and restore these areas the city is planning to create a huge 75km² historical park covering the centre of the ancient city, in the northwest part of modern day Xi’an.

While the mayor did not disclose the cost of the project, China Daily reported that it may cost CNY60 billion (US$9.6bn). Authorities did reveal however, that the project will force 100,000 residents to leave their homes.

“So far, 15,000 people… have been relocated, and all of them have received proper resettlement,” Dong said.

Last year, Xi’an attracted 1.15 million visitors from overseas, 15% up year-on-year. This year the city is expecting to increase this number to 1.3m.

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