Friends of old Villages (Shenzhen)

Bund Heimat und Umwelt (Germany)

Preservation of rural landscapes, old architecture and social innovation

For BHU and the Friends of old Village, the rural areas in the corresponding countries are important fields of work and fundamentally shape their activities. Therefore, their exchange will focus on the handling of historical and/or listed buildings and new constructions in rural areas.

Florence Nick – Bund Heimat und Umwelt and Liu Jiaqi – Friends of Old Villages

Especially in the context of urbanization and the general trend of people leaving the rural areas and moving to the modernized cities in China as well as in Germany, both our organizations’ commitment is the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. To contribute to the existence of sustainable communities, we aim at making people realize the precious cultural value  of their living space including architecture and landscape as important elements of local culture, tradition and history.

Being aware of these values is important to connect to one’s surroundings, to enjoy a living there and to be eager to invest in a continuous improvement of local  living  conditions. So, both our organizations provide information to the public on the historical, cultural and traditional value of certain places. We also focus on supporting others who intend to preserve their local tangible and intangible heritage.

” Our common goal to make the villages or rural space attractive to locals and outsiders can be achieved in making visible what is there and what is precious, valuable and meaningful for local history and culture.”

Florence Nick

Activities Florence visiting Friends of old Villages in Shenzhen
  • Visiting villages to get deeper insights into the work of Friends of old Villages and to gain more background knowledge about spatial developments in China.
  • Holding talks about problems of preservation work in Germany and China
  • Being part of The Real Expo held in Shenzhen, where Friends of old Villages were part of.
Activities Jiaqi visiting Bund Heimat und Umwelt in Bonn
  • Partizipating the European Landscape Forum organized by BHU.
  • Attending the twinning workshop as well as visiting three NGOs.
  • Various workshops to raise school children’s awareness of textil up-cycling.

” One of the most important outcome of the exchange may be personal connections with various NGOs or individuals working on development or cultural preservation in rural area.”

Liu Jiaqi

Twinning Report Friends of old Villages (Shenzhen) & Bund Heimat und Umwelt (Germany)

Twinning Experience Presentation Friends of old Villages (Shenzhen) & Bund Heimat und Umwelt (Germany)


About the Twinning organizations

Friends of old Villages, Shenzhen

Friends of old Villages was established as an NGO in November, 2014, in Shenzhen, north of Hong Kong. Their volunteer base across the country is widespread and it is the largest NGO working on the preservation of old villages in China. Protection of traditional rural architecture through revitalization, crowd funding support and public interest litigation is the organisation’s main focus. They utilize modern restoration technologies and public promotion to conserve traditional Chinese landscapes to combat the ongoing urbanising process.

Bund Heimat und Umwelt (BHU), Germany

The Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt und Energie designs transitions towards sustainable development. It aims at generating practical and actor-oriented solutions for environmental issues on local as well as global level and is organized in four research groups: Future Energy and Mobility Structures; Energy, Transport and Climate Policy; Material Flows and Resource Management; Sustainable Production and Consumption. Clients of the Wuppertal Institute come from governments, the business and industry sector as well as civil society.