The Landscape Change of Qiang’s Settlements in the Upper Reaches of Minjiang River after Wenchuan Earthquake


  • Xiaofei Wen College of architecture, Southwest Jiaotong University; College of urban planning and architecture, Southwest University for Nationalities. Chengdu, Sichuan.
  • Ying Meng College of urban planning and architecture, Southwest University for Nationalities. Chengdu, Sichuan.
  • Changliu Wang College of urban planning and architecture, Southwest University for Nationalities. Chengdu, Sichuan.



Qiang ethnic group is one of the oldest ethnic groups in China, mainly living in upper reaches of Minjiang River in southwest of China. Qiang’s traditional settlements are valuable cultural heritages. Unfortunately, most of Qiang’s settlements were damaged during Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 in different degree. After the earthquake, settlements were reconstructed in different ways. The landscape of Qiang’s settlements had been changed greatly by dual influences, the destruction of earthquake and reconstruction after earthquake. Researching the changing process of Qiang’s settlements landscape has great significance to the protection of cultural heritage and the inheritance of culture, especially in the period after earthquake. At first, Qiang’s settlements are classified into five types with typology method after field research, according to the different degree of destruction and the different model of reconstruction. The five types are settlements restored to original forms in original location, settlements rebuilt to traditional forms in original location, settlements transformed to traditional forms in original location, settlements rebuilt in new location according to unified planning and settlements rebuilt in new location by villagers themselves. Secondly, the five types of settlements are compared with traditional settlements from several aspects including geographical environment, location of settlements, forms of settlements, space structure, building materials and construction technology, in order to research for the change of the landscape characteristics. Finally, the changing processes of each type of settlements landscape are analyzed. The change of villagers’ demands for settlements space are analyzed with the changes of their production model, life style, traditional customs, cultural communication, national religion and spiritual pursuit. Based on this analysis, the main factors influencing the changes of Qiang’s settlements landscape are summarized.


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