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Local Agenda 21

URBAN SOCIETY | Culture and identity

This section, focusing on work accomplished in order to enhance culture & identity, includes innovative programmes in cultural heritage, arts and celebrations, conservation of historic buildings as cultural patrimony, and mobilisation around cultural practices for generating economic opportunities and community cohesion.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Indigenous Local Development Program, Abra Pampa - [pdf]

Argentina - The aim of the initiative is to allow all coyas/ aborigines to live with dignity, like our ancestors did based on our own work and labor. It is necessary to widen the capacity of individuals, leaders and organizations so that they are able to fulfill their own economical, political and cultural aspirations so that this aim can be achieved.

city level

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Historical evaluation and protection of Buildings in St.Geoge's [pdf]

Grenada - The main objectives of this project were firstly, to produce a list comprising the buildings of major architectural, political, cultural and historical significance in the town of St. George's. The study focused on a description of physical appearance, age and uses (both past and present) of such buildings. In order to preserve them, there needs to be adequate protective legislation.The second objective was to draft "the Preservation of Historic Buildings, Monuments and Sites Act and Regulations". The draft explains the rationale for listing the buildings. It provides guidelines for work to be done on them, be it restoration, repair, extension and demolition. Penalties for infringements are also incorporated into the draft.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - The Protection and Upgrading of the Ancient City of Suzhou [pdf]

China - It is not easy to upgrade an ancient city. How to combine the modernization of a city with the protection of its ancient architectural and cultural heritage is both a matter of local and international concern. Fully aware of these difficulties, Suzhou Municipal Government initiated a project geared towards the prudent yet rapid expansion and modernization of the city.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Protection and Rehabilitation of the Historical World Heritage, Santiago, [pdf]

Spain - Since the early nineties Santiago de Compostela has been facing the challenge of the urban restoration and environmental regeneration of its historical World Heritage City. In addition to other national and international prizes, The European Commission and the European Council of Town Planners awarded the town planning initiative the 1997-98 European Town Planning Prize. In the framework of a complex town planning policy, urban restoration pays special attention to two important problems in today's historical cities: the preservation of residential usage with the improvement of the population's housing conditions and the environmental regeneration of free spaces that have survived in a marginal state.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Instrumental Group and Chorus Andes Music Embassy, Tilcara [pdf]

Argentina - The Embajada Musical Andina (EMA) is an instrumental group and chorus formed by children and youth from Antofagasta (chile), Tilcara y San Salvador de Jujuy (Argentina) and Cochabamba (Bolivia) that has been working for cultural integration through music since 1993. This get-together awakens and models the huge range of feelings particular to adolescents, accentuated by the different cultures.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Enjoying the museum: A peace project in times of war, Medellin [pdf]

Colombia - Every day, as we face the crudeness of a violent country, where social injustice produces all kinds of exclusions, we ask ourselves how we can change this reality. We at the Museo de Antioquia understand that the first step is to fulfill our social duty. Being so fortunate as to have the opportunity to hold this valuable community heritage, we have come to realize that our duty requires that we put this heritage into service for the integral development of the community.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Recovery of Traditional Houses in a City of Cultural Patrimony for the Humanity [pdf]

Venezuela - A wide process of plural participation, with the involvement of academic sectors, civil society representatives of communities of the Historical Centers of Coro and La Vela, with the active administration of the government organizations from the Falcon State and the Republic of Venezuela, led to the incorporation of the cities into UNESCO's list of the Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity.

international level

Lanchet, Walter (1999) - World Heritage - URBAMA / March 1999 ESF/N-AERUS Workshop [pdf]

My contribution centres on research on the origin, meaning and applications of the concept or paradigm of "World Heritage" underlying the new orthodoxy of cultural globalization. I will show how dependent and professional thinking has influenced conventional wisdom laid down by international institutions, such as UNESCO; I will also examine the role of researchers and practitioners. What results can there be on the World Heritage Convention, and especially on the protection of cultural property conservation and the highlighting of practice? What is the Convention's effectiveness regarding the World Heritage List ? Other approaches involve a selective perception: doesn't the list integrate some editorial and mediatic approaches in assimilating just one "heritage" with its possible touristic attraction? The List has become a list of the world's wonders: What is the Convention's credibility in view of the influence of the media?

. weblinks



Documents highlighting DFID's published work in support of cultural identity in urban areas:

"Recovering Historic Treasures in Quito" - Allen, Adriana; Nicholas You (2002) – Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas – DPU [pdf]

Ecuador - In Quito, Ecuador, a process is underway to preserve and rehabilitate the historic centre as a cultural
treasure, restore its commercial importance, and foster the appropriate use and maintenance of its public and private buildings, making them more attractive to residents.

"Conserving Urban Cultural Heritage Bhaktapur" - Wakely, Patrick; Nicholas You (2001) – Implementing the Habitat Agenda: In Search of Urban Sustainability - DPU [pdf]

Nepal - Urban cultural heritage conservation work is more effective if it both involves local people in decision making about what work should be done and how, and it also helps to meet local people's needs, in
addition to conserving the built environment and generating revenue.

"Rehabilitating the Old City of Aleppo" - Ibid. [pdf]

Syria - A holistic and participatory approach to the regeneration and restoration of the old city of Aleppo is designed to create a vibrant and 'living' city at the same time as conserving its architectural heritage.

"Traditional Culture Media in Lamu" - Ibid. [pdf]

Kenya - Low levels of awareness about civic rights and governance are barriers to effective urban and regional development. The Tawasal Foundation is using traditional Swahili poetry and song to increase civic awareness, enhance community participation and strengthen civil society in Lamu, Kenya.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon