BCD 2018

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 1 25 C AT H E D R A L COMMU N C I AT I O N S C E L E B R AT I N G T W E N T Y F I V E Y E A R S O F T H E B U I L D I N G CO N S E R VAT I O N D I R E C TO R Y 1 9 9 3 – 2 0 1 8 DEVELOPMENT IN WORLD HERITAGE SITES ATAA ALSALLOUM B UILT HERITAGE in use must accommodate change from time to time if it is to remain in use, and the term conservation has come to define the process of managing change sympathetically. Urban areas are no different. Successful management of development and regeneration requires thorough analysis and understanding of the heritage values at stake, particularly in a world heritage site (WHS) such as Edinburgh, Bath or Liverpool. Here development must be both inclusive and sustainable, so we need to understand the area’s ‘outstanding universal value’ for which the WHS was designated. WORLD HERITAGE DESIGNATION AND PROTECTION The official international collaboration to protect ‘Areas of Outstanding Universal Value that belong to all the peoples of the world’ began with UNESCO’s 1972 declaration of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The convention came into force in 1976 and it has now been ratified by almost 200 countries or ‘state parties’. Its purpose is to ‘ensure the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value’. According to the convention, the state parties should create a tentative list of properties to be designated on the World Heritage List. A nomination document and a management plan should be prepared for each proposed property to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee, which manages the process of heritage designation. The committee is advised by the three international bodies (ICOMOS, IUCN and ICCROM) which counsel on nominations, the state of conservation of properties and on strategic issues and international assistance applications. This special procedure, known as inscription, includes an evaluation of the potential sites by experts against a set of established criteria. The criteria are included in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention , which is periodically revised to reflect the committee’s decisions. A site might be nominated as cultural, natural or mixed heritage if it meets one or more of the ten criteria of ‘outstanding universal value’ (OUV). Once designated, the state party accepts responsibility for the effective management of the site and for safeguarding its OUV, along with the conditions of integrity and authenticity (UNESCO 2016: 26). Articles 1 and 2 of the convention define cultural heritage as monuments, group of buildings and/or sites, while natural features and/or natural sites are defined as natural heritage. Mixed cultural and natural heritage sites are properties that satisfy a part or the whole of the definitions of both cultural and natural heritage. The term ‘cultural landscapes’ is referred to in Article 1 of the convention. It includes cultural properties and represents the ‘combined works of nature and of man’, although this type of asset will be listed under the cultural heritage category. The concept of a ‘heritage urban landscape’ was introduced by the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape , which has been a key guide to the process of safeguarding world heritage sites along with the 1972 convention and other related documents. The document describes the complexity of the urban environment as a dynamic system of cultural and natural values and aspects. It recognises historic cities as multiple active layers of tangible and intangible heritage ‘deposited over time’ by their accommodated communities in various settings (see Further Information, Bandarin and van Oers). If the state party fails to safeguard the site’s outstanding universal value, it will be delisted, a process which has happened twice. The first time was in 2007 when the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman, inscribed in 1994, was deleted from the World Heritage List. The decision was a consequence of the Omani government’s reduction of the size of the protected area by 90 per cent, in contravention of the operational guidelines set out in the 1972 convention. The second site was the Bath’s new Southgate shopping centre approaching completion in 2009: the style is ‘contextual’, reflecting the surrounding architecture in height, texture and tone, if not in rhythm and detail. The drum, bottom left, is part of the new bus station, and the canopy of the train station can be seen at bottom right. (Photo: Jonathan Taylor)