ICOMOS Annual Scientific Symposium 2013
Update: 05/07/2013 08:57:30
Reducing Risks to Cultural Heritage from Uncontrolled Development in a Globalised World

 In the framework of a globalised world enhanced by the advent of new technologies and their common and simplified use in everyday life, many think of a future world as characterized by a homogeneity in its structure, organization and functioning. Nevertheless, others imagined a world dramatically heterogeneous with tremendous spatial and social differences. Depending on different perspectives, both scenarios seem to be developing simultaneously.

In the current situation, however, changes happen so fast that they seem out of control, making it difficult to plan for the future. The entire world has undergone and continues to experience radical and massive demographic changes that transport shifting populations away from their traditional cultural environments and heritage, and bring them into close proximity with the heritage of alien cultures whose meaning is not clearly understood or appreciated. The resulting economic, social and political pressures are exerted not only on urban heritage, but also on the rural areas as well as on the entire human habitat. This phenomenon often results in forming a new identity for the rural landscape resulting in an abandonment and devaluation of heritage. Furthermore, in terms of the current global economic and social crisis, the overdeveloped city increasingly sits in opposition to the partially abandoned countryside.

This crisis is visible on economic, social, and political levels, and has already shown its first impacts/results, such as problems of productive restructuring, social crisis and environmental degradation of the urban space. The crisis is sometimes manifested as the abandoned and ruined landscape of the rural periphery of certain areas, or as the gentrification of urban centers. These phenomena affect both developed and developing countries, north and south, and east and west. Even cities and urban areas that are eminently livable experience the same problems and are in danger of losing their historical identity, along with the natural and cultural features that formed their international, as well as their local, values. In spite of these negative trends, the ICOMOS community remains convinced that heritage can play a leading role in development.

Considering these challenges, the ICOMOS Advisory Committee Symposium 2013, “Reducing Risks to Cultural Heritage from the Uncontrolled Development in a Globalized World”, aims to assess these risks and formulate policies, strategies and measures for reducing risks from the uncontrolled development process. During the one-day symposium, position papers and case studies will be presented on the following themes:

1      The Importance of Identifying, Understanding and Characterizing the Historical and Cultural Urban and Rural Landscapes 


2      Measures and Strategies for Mitigating Risks to Heritage from Population Growth, Urbanization and Immigration.


3      Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Tourism and Commercialization

Source: UNESCO