Shaxi Rehabilitation Project
The Shaxi Rehabilitation Project (SRP) is an award-winning, multi-phased initiative in cultural heritage conservation and endogenous sustainable development between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH) and the People’s Government of Jianchuan County. SRP was prompted following nomination of the Market Square to the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in 2001 to protect and revitalize the imperiled cultural and natural heritage of Sideng and the Shaxi Valley.
The goals of the first phase of the SRP project were: (1) Preserve the structural and natural heritage of Sideng to salvage the environment and the framework of history. (2) Expand upon the notion of SRP as a model for sustainable development. (3) Showcase primary historic structures to demonstrate their potential and the lure of local heritage. (4) Reevaluate the function of each constituent edifice to ensure a congruent, economically viable structure.
The goals of SRP were accomplished in six modules executed over a three-dimensional scale to (1) oversee the quality implementation and feasibility of a single unit or apparatus, (2) offer incentive for its responsible application throughout the historic village, and (3) ensure systematic integration incorporating the entire valley.
In phase two, the primary goal was to establish the Shaxi Preservation and Development Bureau as an independent body of organization under local leadership responsible for the daily management of the site and long-term implementation of the SRP concept. In the long-term, SRP pictures the possible revitalization of the entire Tea and Horse Caravan Trail from Yunnan to Tibet and beyond as an ancient cultural route or world heritage itinerary similar to the renowned Silk Road of Central Asia or the numerous edifying trails merging centuries of Spanish history, art, literature and culture.