Urban Stratification: An Inclusive Urban Cultural Landscape of Hsinchu City

Dr. Shu-yi Wang3

3Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan

The establishment of the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) in 1980 successfully created a high-tech miracle in Taiwan, and increased the political, cultural and economic significance of the City of Hsinchu. In the intervening four decades, Hsinchu City has moved between identities of being an historic city and a science city. The former is represented by the old district at city centre for original residents and tourists, and the latter focuses on new developing areas around HSP where the more recently arrived called Yetties live, shop and entertain themselves. Social segregation between the native Hsinchu and Yetties has evolved and aggravated especially in social and economic aspects.  This paper approaches the city as archive that stratifies the historic urban landscape (HUL), with emphasis on recent memories and distant pasts. Due to rapid growth, most heritage sites in the historic center have been gradually repurposed as cultural institutions to glorify the past or for tourism development. Although these new usages of heritage sites often cause the alienation of original residents and the indifference of new comers, the center of Hsinchu remains the locus on which to transform the dichotic city into a place to be enjoyed by everyday residents. In this paper, an ethnographic approach is used to examine the value of urban cultural landscape interpreted by both original and new residents. The discussion will focus on how heritage sites in the historic center still work as social spaces to reveal the modern meaning of history to its habitats, and as the settings on which to build an inclusive urban landscape for habitats.


Shu-yi Wang is an assistant professor adjunct of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Chinese Culture University, Taiwan. Her research interests encompass not only heritage tourism in historic cities, but also morphological process in social and spatial development in historic settlements. She has published papers in peer-reviewed journals, such as International Journal of Heritage Studies and International Development Planning Review.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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