Billboards Gotta Go in Xi’an China

The colonel greets visitors to Xi’an China

Some nice news out of China on the preservation front: The city of Xi’an has announced plans to remove all advertising billboards from within the historic capital’s walls in order to eliminate "visual pollution." They’ll be taking down over 190 current ads (with the exception of bus stops and some electronic screens) and banning others from this point forward. China Daily reports:

The local government has ambitious plans to refurbish the area within the ancient imperial city wall by building old-style streets, commercial establishments and residential buildings in the area, He Hongxing, director of Xi’an urban planning bureau, said.

"We hope to complete our plan within 50 years, by which time the number of residents inside the city wall will have decreased from its present 450,000 to less than 250,000," He said.

Xi’an is more than 3,000 years old and was the capital city of China for 13 dynasties, and most visitors venture there to take in the incredible terra-cotta warriors at the mausoleum of the first Qin emperor (which you can get a virtual tour of here). In our Places Rated World Heritage Sites list, Xi’an’s mausoleum got a middle range rating of 66. One panelist said:

"The terra-cotta warriors are an overwhelming experience that is well worth the trek. The presentation and site are very well kept, and the museum is informative. Access to it is through Xi’an, a city well worth visiting for its wall, its Muslim district, and its mosque, even though, like most cities in China, it is being transformed very rapidly, and not necessarily in a beneficial way for the heritage districts."

We’re glad to hear of the changes in Xi’an and hope that this means more preservation efforts are on the way for the region.

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Photo: missnoma via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool

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