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Renovation combines tradition and modernity

Reporter: Zheng Yibing 丨 CCTV.com

06-18-2016 13:16 BJT

A major urban renewal project has brought changes to Kashgar, an ancient city in the southwest of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region. The process has sought to preserve history and tradition, and provide comfort and convenience for the people who live there.

It's morning in Kashgar.

This is the old town of Kashgar. After a make-over project that took almost six years, this is what it looks like today.

220,000 people live here. Their new homes combine tradition with modern utilities.

Abudumijiti is one of the residents. He grew up here.

Before the renovation, he says the infrastructure in the community was outdated.

"Our sewage system was bad. This was the situation most people had to face. And we only had shabby public toilets," Abudumijiti said.

Now he sees the improvements in the neighborhood and his own home.

The renovation also took into account seismic activity, because the city is located in an area at risk of earthquakes.

He says the renovation hasn't taken away the flavor of old Kashgar.

"The patterns of the alleys here are the same as before. The houses have been renovated with separate designs, based on the original covered areas, and demands of the local people," Abudumijiti said.

The renovated old town also provides a broader space for people to demonstrate their traditional handicrafts and generate more income.

"One residential area hasn't changed. Due to safety concerns about the structural integrity of houses here, they have not been renovated."

This is the "Terraced Folk Residence", where many pottery craftsmen used to live. Decay can be seen everywhere. The renovated areas used to be like this.

Locals say this place will be reinforced instead of renovated. People can stay, but for work, rather than to live.

Tursun is one of them.

He will keep this place just for his workshop to showcase his handicraft.

Tursun says he is used to life here, but he also wants modern utilities.

"The old town renewal has made Kashgar more beautiful. The homes were renovated. Alleys were broadened; lamps were put up and the whole environment is really clean. We want to live like that too," Tursun said.

For Tursun, and Abudumijiti, the balance between life and development is important. They both want that balance to be achieved in this ancient city.

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