04 March 2002 --
The international conference Architecture and Heritage as a Paradigm for Knowledge and Development closed today with a major address by the Host and chairman Ismail Serageldin. The conference was organized by the Work Program on Architecture and Heritage for Region V for the UIA in collaboration with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. In his statements throughout the conference, Serageldin emphasized .. [the need] to explore the ways in which great architecture through the ages has been able to respond to the specificities of site and cultural milieu as well as to bring the new and the innovative in a remarkable balance that delights both resident and visitor alike. Today the lessons of the past need to be internalized but not simply copied. The problematique has changed: we are in the throes of a global transformation without precedent in the scope and scale of communication, of the limitless possibilities of new technologies and of the speed of the processes of change in all societies. Today's architects, functioning in the new age of knowledge based society must be able to master the tools of knowledge management, the processes of change and gain a deep understanding of the heritage that they are adding to or modifying by their work. The training of such architects requires, we believe, a new knowledge-based perspective that is inadequately represented in many of the present training programs. To manage this discourse with the heritage and with the new, the Mediterranean region is uniquely positioned: it is the richest storehouse of architectural heritage in the world and is undergoing dramatic change in both north and south.
Several recommendations resulted from the issues raised during the conference:
1- the knowledge of architects should be able to master the tools of knowledge management, the processes of change and gain a deep understanding of the heritage that they are adding to or modifying by their work.
2- architectural for heritage and development should be encouraged.
3- information & legal aspects covered sharing of information, designation of conservation areas, and the establishment of heritage trusts to work for the protection of valuable architectural heritage.
4- the character, identity & physical accessibility of heritage should be protected and preserved.
5- future cooperation and activities should continue through the UIA work program, the BA and the UIA.