12 December, 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the inscription of “Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
To celebrate the occasion, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve, in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, organized an International Scientific and Practical Online Conference on “World Heritage Sites: Sustainable Development Practices for Urban Heritage” on 10 December 2020.
The online conference brought together high-level representatives from the Ukrainian government and UNESCO, as well as site managers and several national and international experts on Urban Heritage for a discussion on the role of culture and cultural heritage in achieving sustainable development. The main objective of the conference was to raise awareness and build capacity amongst World Heritage site managers and enhance their capacities in contributing to inclusive, equitable, resilient, and peaceful cities.
The Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre, Jyoti Hosagrahar, provided opening remarks and delivered a lecture on Urban Heritage, Sustainable Development, and the approach of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL Recommendation). She presented the World Heritage Centre approaches and entry points to conservation and safeguarding, emphasising the importance of proper protection and management to safeguard the Outstanding Universal Value of the properties inscribed in the World Heritage List. She also provided a brief overview of the Culture|2030 Indicators and the HUL Recommendation, highlighting the multiple layers and elements that constitute urban heritage, including intangible heritage values and territorial connections. She also introduced the Methodology for Implementing the HUL Recommendation as the outcome of the Fukuoka Experts Meeting that took place earlier this year. In addition, the Deputy Director presented the World Heritage Sustainable Development Policy and the World Heritage Sustainable Development Health Check Tool, which is currently under preparation.
Site managers from a number of different World Heritage cities presented case studies of innovative practices that integrate heritage conservation with sustainable development, including Florence, Bordeaux, Naples, City of Bamberg and Trogir. Michael Turner, UNESCO Chair in Urban Design and Conservation Studies at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and Elizabeth Vines, ICOMOS Focal Point and Professor at Hong Kong University, as chairs of the conference, concluded the event by highlighting the essential importance that people’s relation to their surrounding heritage has in the development of effective ways to integrate its protection in sustainable urban development processes.
This online event is planned as the first part of a two-part conference where the second part is proposed to be held in presentia sometime in 2021.
To watch the conference, please visit this link.