Seventeen Cities Signed Tongzhou Declaration on the Protection of the Grand Canal
The Summit Forum on Protection & Sustainable Development of Grand Canal was held in Tongzhou District of Beijing, the northern start point of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, on Oct. 16, 2006. Together with the representatives of the 17 cities along the Grand Canal, i.e., Beijing, Tianjin, Cangzhou, Dezhou, Liaocheng, Jining, Xuzhou, Yangzhou, Linqing, Suqian, Huai’an, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, Jiaxing and Hangzhou, from north to south, experts and scholars from the fields of cultural heritage protection and city planning discussed the issues on the protection and sustainable development of the Grand Canal and signed the Tongzhou Declaration on the same theme. The topics of discussion of the forum included the current situation of Grand Canal and the actual countermeasures of protection, the organic integration of Grand Canal protection with urban modernization, the strategic thinking and practice on the construction of Grand Canal culture, the protection, transmission and sustainable development of the Grand Canal and the significant role of the Grand Canal in the new historical period.
On the same day, the miniatures of the 17 cities along the Grand Canal were formally established on the 4.6 km long banks of the Canal in Tongzhou. With accordance to the geographic location of the 17 cities, 17 sculptures of 18 m2 each were correspondingly set on the 17 platforms on the waterfront, demonstrating the essence of the local humanism and customs such as the most representative figures, sceneries and legends. For example, the miniature of Jiaxing described the scene of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China taking place on Nanhu Lake; the miniature of Huai’an pictured vividly the story of Journey to the West; and the miniature of Suqian depicted the heroic scene of Chu King’s expedition and his suicide by the Wujiang River.
Concerning the Grand Canal within the territory of Tongzhou District of Beijing, there emerged a landscape corridor of 4.6 km after the first phase renovation work including the construction of the Canal Square, the Olympic Park, the public spaces like squares, basketball fields, football fields, etc.