Theses Master's

Preserving A Fragile Cultural Heritage Destination: Decoding and Encoding the MoGao Caves

Li, Yiyang

The cultural heritage tourism industry has been on a constant expansion in China across the past decades. A growing volume of regional municipalities and investors is actively participating in developing and transforming the cultural heritage sites into tourism destinations. While the mass tourism and its continuous escalation are bringing tremendous success to regional economy, it is also significantly challenging the material integrity of fragile cultural heritage destinations. Such an issue is exposed most acutely at the Mogao Caves, an archaeological cave-temple ensemble in northwestern China. This thesis lays out the cultural heritage preservation framework and the growing tourism economy in China, dissects the preservation issues and challenges presence at the Mogao Caves, evaluates current Mogao Caves visitation design and narratives, seeks guidance and possible resolutions via international case studies faced with similar challenges, and eventually proposes a vision and plan of redevelopment that aims at encounter-balancing the diverse challenges by integrating findings discovered in the research process.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Prudon, Theodore
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
September 25, 2018