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IV Biennal - Rotterdam 2001

Parallel Session 2: Cultural heritage - development and protection

Report: Virna Bussadori (Associazione Nazionale degli Urbanisti e dei pianificatori territoriali e ambientali, Italy - member of the PIWP)

Various examples from both within and outside Europe were discussed. Not only the cities with a distinct historic character, such as Prague and Vienna, but also cities that at first sight are 'without' history, such as Tilburg.
The cultural heritage of a city covers physical and non-physical elements. Not only buildings and the infrastructure belong to the first group but also natural elements such as water courses and hills. We find the non-physical part in traditions and the collective memory, in the identity and the atmosphere of a city. People and their memories bring bricks and mortar to life. There are however various threats and problems such as mass tourism (with 'disneyfication' and 'tourist erosion') and the high costs of maintenance and development.
This session came to the conclusion that a balance between the old and new must be sought. Interventions must be related to the context. Public-private cooperation can stimulate projects economically. There is a need for efficient regulations and laws. The report closed with quote from U2 song: 'time makes the future past'.