New Willowbank agreement with UNESCO-affiliated World Heritage Institute will help protect urban landscapes
Renowned Ontario restoration centre will work with Shanghai-based Institute
Photo from left to right: Vikki Broer, Chair of the Board of Willowbank; Dev Sainani, Chair of the board of Ontario Trillium Foundation; Julian Smith, Executive Director of Willowbank; Lord Mayor, Dave Eke; Ron van Oers, Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute; Kim Craitor, MPP; Lisa Prosper, Director of the Centre for Cultural Landscape.
The Willowbank Centre for Cultural Landscape today signed an important Memorandum of Understanding with the UNESCO-affiliated, Shanghai-based World Heritage Institute for Training and Research in the Asia-Pacific Region (WHITRAP)
The new agreement brings together UNESCO and WHITRAP’s experience with historic urban landscapes and Willowbank’s internationally recognized experience in cultural landscape theory and practices
The Memorandum was signed at a ceremony at Willowbank, National Historic site which houses both the Centre for Cultural Landscape and Willowbank’s world-renowned School of Restoration Arts.
Dr. Ron Van Oers, Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute represented the Shanghai-based organization. Willowbank’s Executive Director Julian Smith and Lisa Prosper, Director of Willowbank’s Centre for Cultural Landscape represented Willowbank, at a ceremony also attended by members of Willowbank’s Board of Directors.
The Memorandum of Understanding enables the World Heritage Institute to work more closely with Willowbank. The two institutions can now cooperate more closely on the application of UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, a new framework that aims to integrate conservation of the built environment into the wider goals of sustainable urban development.
“The UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape helps all of us who work with and value historic urban areas to move beyond the conservation of the built environment to focusing on the entire cultural landscape. With more and more historic urban areas under redevelopment pressure every year, the agreement helps leading experts — including those at Willowbank — to explore and apply new ideas for these priceless cultural areas,” Mr. Smith said.
“It’s important because this framework includes the existing built environment, and also intangible heritage, cultural diversity and local community values as well as socio-economic and environmental factors,” Ms. Prosper said. “It’s the kind of framework we aim to bring to life with our work at Willowbank, and through events like the upcoming (Willowbank Stone Festival Sept. 13 to 15.”)
THE PURPOSE OF THE AGREEMENT:
The purpose of this Memorandum or Understanding is to enable and outline areas for collaboration between WHITRAP and Willowbank in the joint pursuit of research on the theory and application of Cultural Landscape and Historic Urban Landscape.
WHITRAP and Willowbank intend to focus cooperation in, but not limited to, the following areas:
Sharing of expertise to assist in such activites as education, demonstration projects, panels and other events;
Disseminating best practices in the application of Cultural Landscape theory, research results and other information to assist government agencies and municipalities in making more sustainable decisions for their development and conservation practices;
Collaborating on joint areas of interest in terms of research, training methods, and policies that would advance each other's mutual goals;
Sharing ideas and knowledge on sustainabiltiy, cultural heritage conservation and other systems that localities in the Asia-Pacific and other regions can put to practical use to achieve their goals for reduced impact on natural and cultural resources and improve resiliency.
THE CENTRE FOR CULTURAL LANDSCAPE IS GENEROUSLY FUNDED BY: