Pitts, Adrian and Gao, Yun (2017) Sustainable and Green Design in Villages of Rural Southwest China. In: PLEA 2017, 3rd-5th July, 2017, Edinburgh, UK.

In recent Chinese development the focus for improving sustainable building design has been on urban development. However, a large fraction of the country’s population continues to live in rural areas (approximately 600 million); therefore providing and encouraging sustainable development in those areas is important too. This has been recognised in Chinese government initiatives commencing in 2005. Research has been undertaken to record and analyse village development in China’s Yunnan Province. Villages vary considerably from cities including ownership of land and buildings, and local cultural influences. The redevelopment and sustainability outcomes also vary. Factors identified as affecting potential success include: village management and the level of enthusiasm of residents to participate in the development process; types of redevelopment encouragement offered (such as support for tourism and craft industries); the degree to which villagers themselves, have knowledge/interest in, sustainable/green design; the ways by which architects and planners are involved in the process; and the level of existing skills/knowledge available. Research has entailed visiting a range of villages and discussing sustainability issues with residents and also with architects and planners. Building surveys have also been performed. Outcomes of the research suggest optimum ways in which sustainable environmental development in villages can occur.

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