The VII annual conference of the Theory Committee will take place from April 25th to 29th 2012 in in Baku, Azerbaijan in co-operation with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture and the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction. The title was agreed upon for the 2012 meeting
‘Heritage Under Pressure – Perspectives of HUL’.
Herewith we are pleased to send you the letter of invitation to the VII Annual Meeting by Prof. Wilfried Lipp (President of the Committee) and Prof. Boguslaw Szmygin (Secretary) and the Call for Abstract (deadline for presentation of the abstract is January 20th 2012) to all the Members of the:
- ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration (TheoPhilos)
- ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Historic Towns and Villages (CIVVIH)
- ICOMOS National and International Scientific Committees
- To all the international contacts of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation® -Life Beyond Tourism®
The Baku conference will be held in cooperation with CIVVIH and should deal with questions treating the urban development of historic cities – especially World Heritage Cities –, against the background of the latest UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes. The meeting is planned to be held in two sessions on two full working days. Session I will be in the responsibility of the Theory Committee, and will be dedicated – sub specie Historic Urban Landscape – to the theoretical issues of this group of themes. CIVVIH will be responsible for Session II which will – by using case studies – shine a light on the current situation and practice. The HUL Recommendation is in a certain sense the continuation of the ever so often critically perceived Vienna Memorandum, which is dedicated to the urban development in historic context under the paradigm of economic pressure. The HUL paper embraces much wider perspectives – but without giving precise directives for the practice of conservation and preservation. Without any doubt it is a positive aspect that urban space and surroundings are taken to the horizon of heritage. The Recommendation provides a ‘frame’ of actions, opens a wide fan of possible and necessary relations. This is on the one hand a chance to discover new dimensions and values of historic urban areas, on the other it contains the threat of getting lost in the ‘peripheries’ of urban heritage, as, for example, in social or ethnical issues. In practice, however, the daily new ‘burning problems’ we are confronted with require fast decisions. Some related keywords are: increasing verticalisation – high risers – in the core areas of historic cities, sometimes also in satellite suburbs. Densification. Horizontalisation in the sense of urban sprawl. Skyline. Suburbanisation. Commercialisation. Advertising. Façadism. Gutting. Virtuality. Reconstruction. City above the city. Roof space alterations. Illumination (at night).In addition to that we experience other factors, like social change, immigration, movement, fluctuation, and disembedding; change of use and economic pressure; political and legal aspects. And all that in the focus of the conservational values (i.e. origin, authenticity and visual integrity), as well as the basic questions of mankind and society (like identity and values). This should be enough input to encourage potential contributions. A core issue all the single topics should revolve around will be: which tools are needed in order to rise to the stated challenges. Is it appropriate to adopt a ‘liberal’ course – as often called for by politicians and stakeholders, and to some extent within our own organization; or do we need a ‘reinforcement’ of the established foundations of the theory and practice of conservation and preservation, an offensive and of ‘understanding’ and conveyance?
A special thank for the information to Simone Giometti
Secretary General Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco® -Life Beyond Tourism®
Institutional Member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration