The Xi’an Municipal Government announced that 85 out of 105 villages listed in the 2019 “Beautiful Villages” project were completed in the first half of 2019 by the end of July.
(Xi’an Creates More Than Half of its Targeted 105 “Beautiful Villages” Ahead of Schedule)
Since the launch of the ‘Three-Year (2018-2020) Action Plan for Rural Residents’ Environment Improvement in Xi’an’ in 2018, the city has started and continued to promote the reconstruction of “Beautiful Villages”. By improving rural infrastructure facilities, implementing initiatives such as refuse classification and upgrading the protection of historical buildings, the rural environment has improved significantly.
“We follow traditional Guanzhong culture in the restoration of historic architecture and try to avoid building excessively large public squares and out-of-place modern amenities, which may cause cultural alienation.” says Baoming Miao, Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Xi’an. “The goal is to reconstruct villages that reach a relatively high ecological standard while reflecting our true rural culture and heritage.”
Baijiawan Village in Chang’an District, with its tidy outlook and intense taste of local culture, is selected as a model village among the accomplished projects. After the reconstruction, all the village lanes have been paved with asphalt and painted with clear marking lines. Every street is equipped with solar street lamps, blue-bricked flower beds and handmade bamboo fences where laurel and grapes are free to grow. A modern fitness centre, a public “Garden Country” themed square sit beside a series of earthenware jars painted with Shaanxi Opera masks for growing lotus flowers.
Since the launch in 2018, 346 villages have implemented the restoration work, where 241 communities are checked and accepted by an independent on-site test. During the assessment, Lijiayan Village in Caotang Town received the title “A Beautiful Livable Village of China”, while Ren Village in Tongyuan Town, Gaoling District was voted as “A Model Village of Environmental Rehabilitation”.
By the end of 2020, the Xi’an municipal government aims to restore a total number of 320 “Beautiful Villages”, building a traditional rural landscape for the future.
Alongside the “Beautiful Village” project, Xi’an aims to develop modern agriculture by establishing a comprehensive “Special Agricultural Development Zone.” To promote the project, a series of themed festivals were hosted, the most famous being the “Xi’an Farmers’ Festival”, an annual event that accelerating agricultural development and helping peasant obtaining wealth. Highlights of the event include traditional dragon dance, folk-song competitions, visual arts competitions, traditional painting and paper-cutting and farm-to-table cooking experiences that showcase local rural products.