SIENA, DECEMBER 20 – Walled Cities, open Societies: Managing Historic Walls in urban World Heritage properties. On January 26 and 27 a works king group hosted by the City of Siena and organized by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice, Italy), in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre will meet in Siena, Italy.
The world’s urban population represented around 10% of humanity in the beginning of the 20th century, and 50% in the beginning of the 21st century. By 2050, it is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the 21st century’s most transformative trends. Cultural heritage, in all its forms, either tangible or intangible, is increasingly “urban”. The challenge is presently to build a new development culture and practice, harnessing the digital revolution, based on the regeneration and sustainable use of heritage and cultural assets as part of a new socio-economic, environmental and cultural balance for tomorrow’s cities, while addressing social change and transformations.
Urban ensembles or cultural heritage within an urban context are one of the most represented categories of properties on the World Heritage List. In many of them, especially in Europe and the Mediterranean area, historic walls either coincide with the inscribed property’s boundaries or are included therein. Historic walls are a meaningful legacy representing the multifaceted relations of towns and cities with the surrounding environment, as well as their layered history, sometimes keeping people in and sometimes out.
The workshop aims at promoting the sharing of relevant experience among city managers, scholars/researchers and other relevant practitioners, and at developing their capacities to manage this heritage for the benefit of local communities. Special attention will be paid to exploring the links between culture and sustainable development, highlighting how heritage-based innovative approaches can serve urban development and regeneration.
The workshop will explore the integration of walled historic cities’ specific built heritage in their urban and socio-economic environment, including the relevant planning and institutional frameworks. It will look into how modern needs are addressed in a historic setting, through a series of thematic panels and case studies focusing on different links between development issues and heritage values, with special focus on World Heritage walled cities in Europe and the Mediterranean.
The meeting will also be an opportunity to strengthen cooperation among participating cities, universities, and other relevant actors, with a view to develop partnerships for promotion, research and innovation, and resource mobilization.
Expected participants in the workshop are mayors and other representatives of the managing authorities from selected World Heritage cities in Europe, notably city planners; scholars and researchers; World Heritage focal points at country level; together with UNESCO staff and other international resource persons.
The workshop will be structured over 2 days along the following thematic panels: Integrating historic walls within management systems; Sustainable use and conservation of historic walls; and, Communicating heritage: new symbolic values for historic walls.
The workshop will allow to share experiences, good practices and lessons learnt among participants on the management of historic walls in World Heritage cities.
The workshop’s concept, programme and background documents have been developed with the kind support and cooperation of the Mediterranean Network of UNESCO Chairs, and more specifically: UNESCO Chair in Urban and Regional Planning for Sustainable Local Development (University of Ferrara, Italy); UNESCO Chair in Urban Design and Conservation Studies (Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel); UNESCO Chair in Heritage and Urban regeneration (IUAV, Venice, Italy) ; UNESCO Chair in Management and Promotion of World Heritage Sites: New Media and Community Involvement (Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey) ; UNESCO Chair in Architectural Preservation and Planning in Heritage Cities (Polytechnic of Milan, Italy).(@OnuItalia)