Heritage Conservation as a Viable Strategy for Urban Regeneration
Dr Ron van Oers, Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research in the Asia-Pacific region (WHITRAP) under the auspices of UNESCO, is coordinating a programme for the application of the Historic Urban Landscape approach in China and the wider Asian region.
He has been trained as an urban planner and got his PhD from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. In 2000 he started working at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris, where he developed and coordinated a variety of programmes.
In reaction to the threat of demolition for urban renewal and development, historic inner cities have often been preserved in isolation without integrating them into the broader context of their urban surroundings. This has resulted in abandonment by their traditional population and loss of identity, wherein once vibrant areas either suffer urban decay and blight, or are well-preserved but devoid of everyday life and traditional values. The new UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape provides a set of general principles in support of sustainable urban heritage management that integrates environmental, social and cultural concerns into the planning, design and implementation of urban management programmes.
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