TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 424-431.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003036

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationship between the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of World Cultural Heritage and Human Urban Civilization

ZHENG Xuesi1,SUN Wenrui2,HUANG Xu2,ZANG Xiaolin3   

  1. (1.The Affiliated high school of South China Normal University,Guangzhou 510630,China;2.School of geography and urban planning, Sun Yat-sen University,Guangzhou 510275,China;3.Faculty of Geosciences,Utrecht University,Utrecht 3584CS)
  • Online:2018-05-05 Published:2018-05-05

Abstract: World Cultural Heritage tells the story how the human civilization develops. Most researchers focus on individual study rather than exploring the spatial-temporal distribution of whole World Cultural Heritage and how the distribution of heritage implies the development of human civilization. In this paper UNESCO’s World Heritage data and Google maps are combined to explore the time-spatial relations between the World Cultural Heritage and human civilization, esp. urban civilization. 417 World Cultural Heritage sites are considered to be associated with human civilization in cities, most of them are historical sites and architectural landscapes. 2) Most of World Cultural Heritage is located in European and American cities, while Africa has the least number. This is because of the degree of economic and urban development level. 3) World Cultural Heritage sites that emerged during the Ancient period (3500 B.C. -500A.D.) mainly are religious sites, and are located along the rivers where the condition was conducive to the development of agricultural economy. World Cultural Heritage that emerged during the Middle Ages (500A.D.-1500 A.D.) witnessed the flourishing time of the Renaissance. Those sites include Palaces, Classical Gardens and Temples. Since the 16th Century, there have been more kinds of heritage, such as colonial heritage, military heritage, industrial heritage and lineal cultural heritage, which show history of colonial expansion, industrial development, and the dynamic development of cities. 4) World Cultural Heritage expresses the human wisdom in dealing with problems that were encountered in the city’s development. They also show the profound art and humanity of special cities. In all, the World Cultural Heritage basically covers the different regions all over the world and the historical process of human civilization, reflecting the cultural diversity and continuity of development. Under the context of globalization and “The Belt and Road”, World Cultural Heritage plays the significant role as a carrier for human urban civilization. We need to adopt a broader perspective that is more trans-regional and trans-boundary to study cultural heritage in the future.

Key words: world cultural heritage, urban civilization, city feature