Edinburgh World Heritage announced today that it had secured significant European Regional Development funding for a major international project to investigate how Europe’s historic cities, many of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites, can achieve a sustainable future.
The three-year project groups Edinburgh, whose Old and New Towns were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1995, with Porto, Santiago de Compostella, Bordeaux, and Florence. Among the project’s objectives are to improve the protection and promotion of city UNESCO World Heritage sites, strengthen local residents’ sense of belonging, and promote sustainable management practices, both in terms of economic growth and the social well-being of residents.
Edinburgh World Heritage will have responsibility for ensuring that the solutions proposed by the project can be translated into useful, practical projects that can be implemented locally. Through engagement with City of Edinburgh Council, as well as UK, and international partners, Edinburgh World Heritage will ensure that what works for Edinburgh also makes sense in other places too. An international academy for professionals and academics will also be established to help oversee and add value, and the ideas and projects will also be taken into local schools. In 2018, a World Heritage Cities Week will be organised to ensure wider public engagement.
Krzysztof Jan Chuchra, International Manager at Edinburgh World Heritage commented: ‘Europe’s historic cities face a number of different threats ranging from inappropriate development, poor maintenance and care of historic buildings in private hands, and the negative consequences of some aspects of the tourist economy. The Atlas project will attempt to develop solutions to some of these problems, in partnership with local residents and the Council’.
Sofia Alves, Director of the Department of Culture for the City of Porto commented: ‘I am delighted that Edinburgh will be our partner, together with other historic European cities, as we move forward with this major project. Edinburgh has so much to offer the rest of Europe as one of our most important historic citues, but will also, I believe, benefit from seeing how other cities address our common problems’.
The article was originally published by Edinburgh World Heritage here: http://www.ewht.org.uk/news/607/102/Edinburgh-to-be-part-of-major-EU-funded-historic-cities-project