The human element: progress focuses on rich history, culture; Li You; China Daily

China – Kulangsu, a Historic International Settlement

Gulangyu has a lot going for it: Beautiful scenery, delicious food, historic architecture and a quiet atmosphere.

But after the island, known in the local dialect as Kulangsu, was recognized by UNESCO on its list of World Cultural Heritage sites, the officials charged with overseeing its development decided to focus on another aspect of island life: the human beings who settled there, and the unique culture they created.

The 1.88-square-kilometer islet was residence for around 14,750 people in 2015, including 11,265 permanent residents and 3,485 transient residents, who moved there not long ago.

“Since the beginning step of Gulangyu’s application for World Cultural Heritage sites until it was successfully included into the list, the issue of its preservation is always under challenge,” said Wei Qing, director of a consulting team that worked on Gulangyu’s application for UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status.

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