Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (12): 1675-1685.doi: 10.11821/xb201212009

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Spatial Differentiation and Place Identity of Chinese Calligraphic Landscape

ZHANG Jie1, ZHONG Honglei1, TANG Wenyue1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. School of Tourism and Urban Management, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330013,China
  • Received:2012-03-03 Revised:2012-09-10 Online:2012-12-20 Published:2012-12-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40871072

Abstract: Calligraphic landscape was defined as a portion of geographical space with a specific visual characteristics and special sense of place resulting from the laying-out of the assemblies of calligraphy as landscape elements. As Chinese calligraphy is at the center of the core of Chinese culture, calligraphic landscape was the typical traditional Chinese culture landscape and an important part of urban cultural landscape. On the basis of different characters of calligraphic landscape, this paper developed an index of calligraphic landscape to measure the spatial differentiation of calligraphic landscape. 19 surveys of calligraphic landscape were done to detect the spatial differentiation. Survey areas included cities and towns in regions such as Beijing, Sichuan, Jiangsu and Hong Kong. The statistical results of calligraphic landscape showed an obvious spatial differentiation phenomenon. Spatial differentiation not only existed among the cities and towns with different cultural attributes and functional attributes, but also existed between the peripheral zone and the core zone within the same cultural or business block. The important factor affecting this spatial differentiation of calligraphic landscape was subconscious cognitive and cultural identity to calligraphy of shopkeepers. The spatial agglomeration of different shops forced by the pursuit of the agglomeration benefits was another important factor. The fact that Chinese people consider calligraphy as a symbol of landscape and culture in subconsciousness have made calligraphic landscape have functions of space delineation and definition, which may contribute to the formation of cultural symbolic space of cities and towns. Research of calligraphic landscape has practical meanings to the protection of traditional Chinese cultural landscape in the process of globalization and urbanization.

Key words: calligraphic landscape, spatial differentiation, symbolic space, place, city