Jinan calls for more cultural protection, utilization efforts

Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province, is home to numerous springs, including 72 famous ones. Using spring water to cook, wash and drink is part of the local way of life in Jinan, which makes the "city of springs" so special to visitors from home and abroad.

Springs have endowed Jinan with a distinct quality and charm that is unlike any others, demonstrating the city's lengthy history, humanistic warmth, and rich culture.

Jinan has been making efforts to protect and make use of these springs in recent years due to its unique spring scenery and historical and cultural resources, and build more areas for people to encounter, view, and taste the springs' beauty.

Daming Lake is a well-known attraction in Jinan that is created by natural spring water. [Photo/VCG]

"Spring water represents the soul of Jinan. It is of great importance to protect, utilize and develop spring water and promote spring culture," said Li Jixiao, director of Jinan municipal bureau of urban and rural water resources. " In recent years, we insist on scientific, precise and ecological protection of the springs, so that these important springs, mainly Baotu Spring, achieve 19 years of continuous gushing."

According to Li, local authorities have been working to use digital technologies to monitor water levels and form an early warning system to help utilize spring water resources.

Jinan has made a spring landscape promotion plan during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) to renovate 166 spring landscapes in the city. "Nearly 20 have been restored so far," said Li. "In addition, we will enable one million residents to have running spring water in their homes by the end of 2025."

As a "National Famous Historical and Cultural City", Jinan has a history of more than 4,000 years and is home to a large number of historical blocks and buildings as well as modern and contemporary buildings with international styles.

"To protect the city's history and culture, first of all, we need to protect the complete layout of the city, the original appearance of historic districts and historic buildings," said Li Ming, former president of the Jinan Institute of Archaeology. He suggested that more money should be invested in the protection and utilization of the city's historic buildings and cultural relics.

To help the ancient city keep its liveliness and become more popular, Jinan should put more effort into preserving its springs, its historical heritage and urban cultural landscape, and applying for world heritage sites, according to Zhi Liang, director of the Jinan municipal culture and tourism bureau. She emphasized that more financial and human support will be continuously increased to build a system for the protection of cultural relics.

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