Tropical Geography


The Double Construction of Human Settlements and Regional Culture: A Review of Domestic Waterfront Spaces Research from the Perspective of Historical Inheritance

Feng Han1(), Yukun Ma2, Shaokai Huang1, Shaojian Wang2()   

  1. 1.Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute, Guangzhou 510060, China
    2.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2022-12-06 Revised:2023-01-18 Online:2023-12-07
  • Contact: Shaojian Wang;


Urban waterfront space has important practical significance for inheriting and developing urban cultural characteristics, promoting the driving role of culture in urban development, and creating regional cultural artistic conceptions. This study comprehensively uses the methods of bibliometric visual knowledge map analysis and a qualitative reading of literature, systematically combing through the relevant research literature with the help of quantitative analysis and a qualitative perception of the literature analysis system. Through this approach, this study summarizes the stage characteristics, theoretical basis, and implications of waterfront space research from the perspective of historical inheritance. The research methods, research content, and hotspots clarified the research context of waterfront space from the perspective of historical inheritance. Based on bibliometric analysis, it is evident that research on the historical inheritance to waterfront space is primarily driven by universities and spans disciplines such as human habitat science, ecology, geography, urban planning, and architecture. Human settlement environment theory, cultural space theory, and place narrative theory together constitute the theoretical framework of the research on the historical inheritance of waterfront space. Domestic research on the historical inheritance to waterfront space in China primarily relies on traditional qualitative methods, while quantitative empirical methods have yet to become mainstream. In general, the research concerning the historical inheritance of waterfront space can be divided into three stages: first, a phase focused on the development and construction of waterfront spaces oriented towards recreation, commerce, and tourism functions; second, a stage of transforming and renewing waterfront spaces by leveraging urban development processes; and third, a stage aimed at preserving the unique cultural heritage of cities through the historical continuity of waterfront spaces. The transformation and revival of waterfront industrial heritage, the renewal and protection of waterfront historic blocks, and the protection and utilization of historical waterfront public space culture have become hot topics in the current research on the historical inheritance of waterfront space in China. This study concludes that the existing research is faced with problems such as unbalanced research areas, insufficient empirical research, and a serious separation of "pleasure" and the "ideal." Future research should focus on the system of waterfront space research as it deeply enriches the research methods, improves the research system, and provides direction and support for the historical inheritance and protection of research of China's waterfront space.

Key words: historical inheritance, waterfront space, human settlements, regional culture, overview

CLC Number: 

  • TU984.18