Retaining the original building fabric is an integral element of the green Happiness Village project.
Photo: Xuesong Zhang

25.06.2018

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Taoyuan Village belongs to the “Happiness Green Village” scheme of the Western Hubei Eco-culture Tourism Circle, in Western Hubei Province, China. It is an example of how an attractive living environment can be created for rural inhabitants by repairing and promoting ancient villages, also with view to stemming the rural exodus.

As China’s urbanisation process accelerates, the urban-rural gap is becoming more and more obvious. The cities are developing and expanding rapidly, while rural communities are gradually languishing and waning. Some villages have already disappeared, while others are set to suffer the same fate, leaving many peasant workers unable to return but also without prospects of staying in the cities.

Taoyuan Village was also in gradual decline. Just like so many others Chinese villages, it had become very shabby and impoverished, and the young peasants went out to work, while the children and the elders stayed in the rural environment. Nearly ten years ago, Taoyuan looked like a completely “empty village”. Lacking protection, the ancient buildings and old trees suffered great damage, and the village landscape was withered and tattered. The riverway was in a state of disrepair, natural ecology was on the slide, and traditional cultures were in decline.

Taoyuan Village is located in Wushengguan Town, part of Guangshui City in Hubei Province.

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