Typology: Water town Contracting authority: Zhouzhuang local authorities Main Stakeholders: Tongji University, local craftmen, inhabitants Year: 1986
After the economic reform of the 1980s, small industries quickly developed into small scale towns. In many, water-town bridges have been destroyed and canals filled, in an attempt of modernization. Spared by the development, due to the distance to the main roads, the town of Zhouzhuang is the first water town to establish a protection plan. The aim is not only to preserve buildings, but also the cultural heritage, customs, lifestyle and skills of inhabitants. The plan also includes a direct reinvestment of 10 percent of tourism benefits into town protection. After this achievement, other water towns followed the example.