Suzhou National Historic City Protection District Established
On Dec. 26, 2012, Suzhou City announced the establishment of Gusu District making up of three former administrative districts as Jinchang District, Canglang District, and Pingjiang District. Meanwhile, Suzhou National Historic City Protection District was also established, being managed by the same government with Gusu District, which represents a new method of protection of historic and cultural cities called by some experts as “Suzhou Model.”
Suzhou is the first and only city who includes the Old City into one protection district to plan and protect integrally. In current China, the protection planning of Historic City usually designates the blocks or building groups of historic sites and relics concentrating or with complete traditional local features or national characteristics as Historic and Cultural Districts, which causes the difficulty in scale protection of old cities, and even results in the negative phenomenon of similar functional layout, separated administration and poor integral consideration, etc. In Suzhou, the three development entities as the former three districts relevant to the protection of the Old City were merged into one, which is the combination of administrative district and protection district, and under the leadership of district government assigned by provincial government. After the establishment, Suzhou will carry out a new round of protection planning for the Old City, with the new mode which is expected to be favorable for the integral planning, administration, and implementation of old city protection.