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Patrimoine urbain, Qixian, Chine
The local government of Qixian (Qi County) in Shanxi province in central China has launched a major program to protect, restore and showcase the historic center of Zhaoyu. The innovative initiative, supported by AFD, will be to everyone’s benefit.

Qixian was once a flourishing trade city on the ancient tea road. The remarkable urban heritage in the historic center of Zhaoyu earned the city its classification as a “famous historical and cultural city” from national authorities. However, failure to protect this heritage has caused it to deteriorate. None of the buildings are shown in their best light and the city therefore attracts very few tourists. The city center’s 5,600 inhabitants live in historic but dilapidated housing.

With support from AFD, the local government has initiated a project to protect and showcase the city’s cultural heritage while also improving the living conditions of residents in the historic center of Zhaoyu.


The project will restore traditional buildings and old housing, create green spaces and recreational areas, renovate roads and renew urban infrastructure, including urban heating, public lighting, sanitation, access to drinking water and stormwater treatment.

It will create an interpretation center on the area’s history and showcase the remains of the old ramparts with augmented reality. A tourist route will highlight several historical monuments and activities will be created to promote the local intangible heritage.

Several French experts (École de Chaillot, Inca, Burgéap, In Extenso, Urbanis) have been providing local authorities with their support in the project design.

  • Preservation, enhancement and revitalization of Qixian’s cultural heritage;

  • Greater urban attractiveness with the development of a vibrant and innovative old city center;

  • Improvement of basic services for residents and renovation of social housing, benefiting the most vulnerable residents;

  • Creation of direct and indirect jobs through tourism development, with specific support aimed at benefiting local residents.

Project start date
Chine, Qixian
Financing tool
70 000 000
Financing amount
Qixian County