“Datong taught us the impact of human activities and the rapid transformation of human development. How quickly can the historic city remains be neglected, demolished, or even erased, and rebuilt again in only 60 years?”

– Fung Tin Lok Avalon, “Datong: The Newly Built Ancient City,” 2019


Another City Development By Heritage

Mirae Nam

Figure 1. Night view of Datong Bell Tower (Photograph by Zhang Xingjian) After 8 years of a long restoration process, Datong Ancient City Wall had been completed in November 2016. The newly repaired walls are covering an area of 3.28 square kilometers, moreover, the government has tried to improve the surrounding environment of city wall. In ...

Authenticity of Datong Ancient City wall: Fake or Real?

Mirae Nam

Although Datong achieved a great achievement of industrial change from resource-based city to a commercialized tourist site through the reconstruction of the city wall and other heritages, it is necessary to question how such newly built relics were reconstructed and if they can be regarded as genuine cultural heritage.  In many cases in China, the restoration ...

Local Citizens’ dissatisfaction: Who’s fault is it?

Mirae Nam

As the massive demolition and restoration happened, Datong has regained its Ming dynasty splendor, yet tens of thousands of residents had to move out beyond the city wall permanently. The first mayor in charge of the restoration project, Geng Yanbo put huge effort into the relocation of residences, however, he could not manage a large ...

Mayor Geng’s Effort on Demolition and Relocation

Mirae Nam

Geng Yanbo is a Chinese politician who served as the mayor of Datong from 2008 to 2013. Some people say he is a hero of Datong, while some say “Demolition Geng”. He took over as mayor of Datong and worked on a project to rebuild the city walls, destroying more than 180,000 houses in the ...

Industrial Transformation of Datong: After City Wall Restoration

Mirae Nam

In the past, Datong used to be home to royal palaces, temples, and gardens. Starting with the Northen Wei dynasty, which is 1,600 years ago, Datong was a beautiful capital. It continued to thrive in the Liao and Jin dynasties, and later regained prominence as a major strategic center in the Ming dynasty. Most of ...

Is Datong still Datong? Where Do the Newly Built Ancient City Go Next?

Fung Tin Lok Avalon

    《論語·子路》:“大同,大而不同。和而不同,方為大同。” Cited from Confucian Analects, by Zilu. In other words, these two sentences means Datong, big but different. Datong Society is one in which everybody is devoted to serving the common good instead of seeking primarily to benefit only themselves. According to Confucius, Datong essentially refers to an idealistic world. Datong is not an untouchable and ...

Critical Investigation on the City Wall Preservation and Restoration: Issues and Challenges

Fung Tin Lok Avalon

  Looking at these photos, the evidence of modernisation and rapid city transformation can be clearly seen, lying in the somehow intended and unintended boundaries between the city wall and the newly constructed buildings. But is it really the right way to treat the city, the heritage, and the inhabitants?  There are a lot more to ...

Historical Documents




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