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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1334; doi:10.3390/su9081334

Identifying the Conditions for Rural Sustainability through Place-Based Culture: Applying the CIPM and CDPM Models into Meibei Ancient Village

1,2,3,* , 1,2,3
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
School of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
College of Public Administration, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031, China
Institute of Jiangxi Poverty Alleviation and Development Studies, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 July 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 30 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2813 KB, uploaded 31 July 2017]   |  


Transitional rural China faces more serious challenges in its sustainable development. How to regain the vital momentum of those historically and culturally preeminent villages, among over 680,000 administrative villages in total, has become the pressing agenda for all the stakeholders, due to the fact that these villages have huge potential to be the leverage for successful rural transition and new urbanization in China. This paper therefore tries to diagnose and identify the current situation of those villages from a cultural perspective by taking the Meibei ancient village as the case. By applying the proposed Cultural Inverted Pyramid Model (CIPM) and Cultural Dual Pyramid Model (CDPM) with seven layers, i.e., root/vision, value, symbol, hero, ritual, lifestyle, and governance & management, Meibei’s development mechanism has been systematically explored from a cultural perspective through the comparison between its past prosperity and present challenges. It is found that the great merit of Meibei’s past prosperity lied in the organic integration of cultural elements in all the layers through the five development dimensions, i.e., economic, social, institutional, environmental and cultural dimensions. The empirical study proves that CIPM is a useful tool for diagnosing and identifying the current situation of the village, while CDPM is an effective instrument for planning and designing a culture-embedded and improved place for the future. Unless Meibei can recreate a new cultural ecosystem with resilience fitting to its existed heritage with cultural excellence and tourism promotion, the village cannot catch up with its past prosperity. Finally, this paper calls for more in-depth culture-oriented research to improve the CIPM and CDPM paradigm to allow for the realization of rural sustainability, particularly from the perspectives of policy options and academic concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural sustainability; culture perspective; Meibei ancient village; policy option; China rural sustainability; culture perspective; Meibei ancient village; policy option; China

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lin, J.; Cai, J.; Han, Y.; Liu, J. Identifying the Conditions for Rural Sustainability through Place-Based Culture: Applying the CIPM and CDPM Models into Meibei Ancient Village. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1334.

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