LAND RECLAMATION AND CREATION OF NEW VILLAGES THE CASE STUDY OF SHA TIAN TOWN ON THE PEARL RIVER ESTUARY
URI (for links/citations):http://elib.sfu-kras.ru/handle/2311/111741
(TIAN, M.: Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, R723, Knowles Building, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Proceedings of the XXV ISUF International Conference “Urban Form and Social Context: from Traditions to Newest Demands” (Krasnoyarsk, July 5–9, 2018)
Since the 15th century, the shifting geographic pattern of the Pearl River Delta and extensive land reclamation activities prompted the generation of vast coastal areas. The villages created on the newly reclaimed land played an important role in the region's local and international economic activity and became part of the Great Bay Area in recent years. By using villages in Sha Tian town (沙田镇) as a case study, this paper shows that the mechanism of land reclamation influenced the formation of settlements, during the process whereby the shoal of the coastline became small fishing villages at the fringe of the cities which were eventually absorbed into the urban space. Using both field research and a literature review, this paper discusses three specific time periods. In the mid-Qing dynasty, policy changes and the natural conditions drove the boat people who assembled on the sea to reclaim land in the Sha Tian area. During the second period, these boat people moved to the newly reclaimed land and erected different types of buildings to support their changing way of life, establishing linear villages along the waterway and dike. Finally, with the urbanisation of the past two decades, the form of these villages became transformed in different ways according to the location and the relationship with the urban area. This paper situates this case study within the discourse of urban regeneration while linking it to the sustainability of urban villages. In this way, the paper provides a critical evaluation of how reclamation activities produced new patterns of landscape, the changing concepts of villagers towards nature and the river system, and the contradiction between the demands of modern life and the traditional village underlying the ongoing transformation.