PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (9): 1067-1080.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.09.003

• Special Issue: Urban Cultural Sensing and Computing • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Genes identification of cultural heritage landscape of Shaanxi Traditional Villages

Zhouyan ZHAI1(), Tongsheng LI1,*(), Fang CHANG2, Yali LUO1,3, Yu Shi1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Science, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2. Institute of Human Geography, Xi'an International Studies University, Xi'an 710128, China
    3. College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai'an 223001, Jiangsu, China
  • Online:2017-09-27 Published:2017-09-27
  • Contact: Tongsheng LI;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41601174;Scientific Research Project of Education Department of Shaanxi Province, No. 16JK1757


Genes of cultural heritage landscape, the basic units of cultural heritage, can pass on regional culture and have become the new research direction of cultural geography. By extracting and recognizing memes of cultural heritage landscape, it is possible to reflect regional cultural characteristics. Traditional villages are the most representative kind of regional cultural heritage landscape, which embody and preserve our traditional culture. Gene recognition research of regional cultural heritage landscape could not only expand the scope of studies of traditional settlements but also reveal the human geographical features of regional culture and the sociocultural distinctions of traditional villages. Existing literature in China on identifying landscape genes from traditional settlements has not examined inherited genes and genetic structures of traditional culture and has rarely been used in the study of traditional villages. This article is an attempt to exercise the conception of regional cultural heritage landscape gene into cultural space research of traditional villages. It focuses on selected typical traditional villages in Shaanxi Province at the macroscale, mesoscale, and microscale. First, considering the regional culture discrepancies between the Guanzhong, the Shanbei, and the Shannan areas in Shaanxi Province, representativeness of the cases, balance in geographic distribution, and comprehensiveness of available data, the study selected 35 traditional villages; Second, on the macroscale and mesoscale, this article analyzes cultural environment characteristics of the cultural heritage landscape inheritance in these villages, which are found to be in conformity with the geomantic principles, the bionic design, and the traditional Li thought. Without strictly obeying the architectural shapes in urban landscapes, the location and the overall layout of traditional villages are more flexible, but still have many similar environmental characteristics as cities; Third, for establishing a landscape genes identification index system, the study divided the attributes of cultural heritage landscape into six sub-indices and 17 indicators, and applied various methods to extract and identify feature genes of the material and immaterial cultural heritage landscape at the microscale, including traditional dwellings, public building architecture, conventional custom, folk beliefs, ancestral culture, and regional dialects; Fourth, regional cultural traits are explored, which can be classified into two categories: the cultural feature of general characters, and the cultural feature of local characters. The agrarian and patriarchal clan culture is considered the general cultural character. Local cultural characters are examined in the following aspects: the military culture, the immigration culture, the communication and business culture, the industry culture, and the political culture. This research may provide a foundation for the study of constructing cultural heritage landscape genetic map in China for rejuvenating traditional village cultures.

Key words: traditional villages, cultural heritage landscape, regional culture, memes of cultural landscape, Shaanxi