The conference "Integrating Urban Heritage in Urban Planning Processes" took place on 24 March 2021 in the context of the 10th anniversary of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL Recommendation). The event was organised by the City of Prague in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, to share and discuss the proposal of its Metropolitan Plan.
During the online session was discussed a significant variety of case studies and practices focusing on the integration of heritage and historical values into processes of urban development. The pressures of urbanization and inadequately planned urban development, the urgency of responding to sustainable development and Climate Change, as well as the ongoing sanitary crisis are challenging historic cities and to address complex issues related to housing, mobility, while also conserving valuable heritage. On this occasion, several urban heritage experts, site managers, city professionals, and national focal points, contributed to the discussion presenting different suggestions, plans and mechanisms employed to include practices to further sustainable development and engage local communities.
The conference was structured around the involvement of different cities that shared their experiences underlining the cultural, social and economic values of urban heritage, its preservation, renovation and new construction carefully integrated with the historic structures to ensure continuing protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property while furthering sustainable urban communities. A particular focus was given to sustainable development in line with the goals set by the 2030 Agenda and New Urban Agenda.
After the opening speeches by Mr Petr Hlaváček, Deputy Mayor for Urban Development of the Prague City Hall and Ms Hana Třeštíková, City Councillor for Culture and Heritage Care of the Prague City Hall, Ms Jyoti Hosagrahar, Deputy Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, addressed the importance of integrating urban heritage in urban processes, as a fundamental tool for social cohesion, cultural and economic development in the framework of the HUL Recommendation. Conservation was highlighted as a central instrument for sustainable livelihoods that needs to be centred on local communities to ensure that heritage management processes engage with change and stability over time. In particular, she explained the methodology developed as the Fukuoka Outcomes for implementing the HUL Recommendation.
The conference, through the analysis and discussion of the practices adopted in several historic cities located across Europe and their approaches to critical issues specific of their urban context, was a great chance to share tools and suggestions during an enriching day of exchange.