Article from the New York Times (02.11.12) on the challenges faced by local governments when trying to revitalize and restore ancient historic cities and their local crafts. This article features the example of the old town of Cicheng, in Zhejiang province, southern China, and their more unconventional attempt at a holistic approach to the problem by encouraging local artisans and craftsmen to study and work in the recently renovated buildings by developing the Cicheng Innovation Cultural Park. The article makes a comparison to Beijing’s Dashilar project.
Whilst this kind of approach to urban regeneration is encouraging, the article is a little light on details as to how the local government is going to encourage the local artisans to stay or move to this regenerated area. There is no mention of incentives – such as lower studio or exhibition space rents – which you would almost certainly need if you were indeed a local artist trying to make a living in an up-and-coming, newly restored part of town.