New rules are being proposed to protect Suzhou City’s 2,500-year-old walls. The legislation includes a ban on advertisement boards, high-rise buildings and industrial and commercial structures being built next to the walls or in nearby neighborhoods.
Experts will be invited to study the 15.5-km walls and repair brickwork. The city will also pay for the area’s restoration.
In Jiangsu province, Suzhou is sometimes called the Venice of the Orient. Other cities with laws to protect their ancient walls – including gates, ramparts and underground foundations – are provincial capital Nanjing and Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province.
Parts of the walls are missing, new buildings have been put up on some ruins, and graffiti has appeared on parts of the walls still standing. Some walls have been rebuilt and a city wall museum has been built.
Suzhou is home to classic gardens that have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.