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Chinese City Planning Thoughts noted by ancient Books

Shen Yuzhi (Academy Sinica, Beijing)

There are some thoughts on city plan recorded separately by books, such as ZHOU YI , LUSHICHUNQIU SHEN SHI , ZHOU LI KAOGONGJI .These thoughts decided how to choose a city site and how to make up the rule of a city plan in Chinese history.

This paper researches the city planning thoughts from two points.The first point is city environment ideology on selecting sites of cities. LONG MAI SHUO is one of thoughts on city environment . LONG MAI means mountain range river also being a kind of LONG MAI .This ideology considered that the best shapes of the mountain ranges surrounding a city were like ZHUO QING LONG black dragon on the left ,YOU BAI HU white tiger on the right ,QIAN ZHU QUE red bird at the front ,HOU XUAN WU black tortoise at the back .These surroundings would give the city essential conditions of both getting water easily and avoiding from strong wind blowing.The second point is the ideology on city plan.Two kinds of thoughts existed in Chinese history.One was FA XIANG YU TIAN meaning copying sky .This ideology originating from a philosophical idea TIAN REN HE YI meaning both humenbeing and the sky are the part of nature,everything in the earth corresponds to the things in the sky .Under the leadership of the thought,arrangment of city plans imitated the distribution of stars in the sky.Another city planning thought was WANG ZHE BI JU TU ZHONG ,meaning a king must be at the center of the earth .This thought extracted from ZHONG ZHI HE Golden mean of the Confucian .This led to a rule of city plan.The rule emphasized a middle line from the north to the north of a city.Every buildings all over the city would be distributed symmetrically according to the line.Imperial palace was built on the line only.Other buildings such as government office,imperial temple,dwellings arranged at two sides of the Line.

This paper narrates the background above thoughts was born,the program the thoughts evolved and the influence thoughts made on Chinese city history.

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