Recommendation 195 (2006)1 on reconciling heritage and modernity

The Congress,

1. Considering:

a. that Europe’s rich and varied historical and architectural heritage is a key component of European identity, which has to be both safeguarded and cultivated for future generations;

b. that the following work, texts and declarations illustrate this analysis:

i. Final Declaration of the conference launching the European Association of Historic Towns and Regions (CLRAE, Strasbourg, 7-8 October 1999);

ii. conclusions and final declaration of the international colloquy: Heritage for the future – realising the economic and social potential of a key asset, organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in co-operation with the European Association of Historic Towns and Regions and Norwich City Council (United Kingdom, 9 and 10 September 2004);

iii. the report on Reconciling Heritage and Modernity prepared by Hilde Zach (Austria, L, EPP/CD) and Sue Davis (United Kingdom, L, SOC) on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education of the Chamber of Local Authorities and Resolution CG/CULT (12) 6 Res on the role and responsibilities of local authorities in reconciling heritage and modernity, which puts forward a whole series of local government activities in this field;

iv. Recommendation 92 (2001) of the Congress on the follow-up action to be taken on the conference entitled: Cities and Regions: Cultural Diversity – a Precondition for a United Europe (Innsbruck, Austria, 11 and 12 December 2000);

v. the Final Declaration of the 5th European Conference of Ministers responsible for the Cultural Heritage (Portoroz, Slovenia, 5-7 April 2001);

vi. the Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society; adopted in Faro on 27 October 2005,

2. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

a. give consideration in the years ahead to the need to reconcile heritage and modernity, particularly in the field of tourist development, making sure that mass tourism, poorly managed and poorly controlled, is avoided, and that tourism is not allowed to expand to the detriment of sustainable heritage development;

b. promote investment in heritage which can create jobs in the tourist, retail and catering industries;

c. encourage financial and political backing from the public sector and associations involved in heritage promotion and conservation, in order to enhance the profile and appeal of historic sites which often remain undeveloped economically;

d. ensure that cultural and historic assets are marketed with the necessary circumspection, taking account of the distinctive features of the sites to be preserved;

e. promote close and active co-operation between the various Council of Europe sectors concerned and the European Union, thereby making the Council of Europe’s heritage protection work more widely known and fostering complementarity between the activities of the two organisations;

f. encourage ministers with responsibility for heritage to put into place a network of cities, which can provide examples of good practice in terms of reconciling heritage and modernity;

g. help with the creation of a European label “Heritage and Future”, which would be granted to reward the achievements of urban enhancement, taking into account the existing heritage within the framework of a project;

h. organised, every three years, in a different European city rich in heritage values, a meeting of representatives of the various member states (local councillors, representatives of civil society, architects, etc.) on the topic of the cultural heritage in the making;

i. confirm the commitments set out in Article 17 of the Faro Convention by promoting transfrontier co-operation in spheres including culture and the preservation of a common European heritage, increasing ties between peoples and regions on different sides of administrative and territorial boundaries. Such co-operation can also contribute to conflict prevention by involving the players concerned in a single project centring on awareness-raising and shared cultural identity;

j. strengthen the means of public debate by including the new information technologies thus further developing participatory democracy with a view to increasing public acceptance of initiatives to enhance the urban heritage;

k. ask the Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage to conduct a future-oriented analysis aimed at drawing up a programme to encourage local initiatives in the field of reconciling urban development and heritage enhancement.

l. ask the Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage to take the initiative to create a

European Heritage Grant, open to future architects and European town planners whose degree works would be an example of reconciliation between heritage and modernity. This grant, in a limited number (not more than six prize winners per annum) would take the form of financing a one-year pre-professional training course in a local community in Europe whose action in the area of such reconciliation has been recognised.

1. Debated and adopted by the Chamber of Local Authorities on 30 May 2006, and adopted by the Standing Committee of the Congress on 1 June 2006 (see Document CPL (13) 2, draft recommendation presented by H. Zach (Austria, L, EPP/CD) and S. Davis (United Kingdom, L, SOC), rapporteurs.



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