Notes on the 5th EUSS and the proceedings : Preface

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As time seems to fly faster every day, human beings feel the necessity to preserve, develop and even showcase cultural heritage so as to conserve points of reference of our identities and evidence of our individualities. At the same time, this fast developing - and decaying - world imposes another necessity: to develop and preserve our social, economic and ecological environment, to achieve what is commonly called ‘sustainable development’. This means that in all our historic cities, heritage concerns and sustainable development are two essentials to take into account whilst conceiving any spatial development project, but they are not always obviously compatible. The essential and challenging difficulty to conciliate the two was the basic concept of the 5th European Urban Summer School (EUSS). This edition of the EUSS aimed to set a platform to discuss issues where heritage conservation and sustainable development can meet. Has heritage conservation to be strictly framed? Do we have to choose between places to admire and places to experience? What does the application of sustainable development pillars imply in spatial planning and especially in urban design? The EUSS, with a series of seminars and workshops, aimed to bring together young planners and academics so as to benefit from international creativity. The goal was to create a platform where each participant could experience combining theoretical approaches and operational urban design. At the basis of the EUSS programme was the intention of showing participants as many sides of a complex stakeholders’ environment as possible. That’s why the many lecturers invited to speak were firstly specialists of heritage conservation (so as to structure the framework, a-spatially) and secondly from all possible categories of users and decision-makers (specifically related to the project site): politicians, technicians, professionals, architects/planners, associations, shopkeepers, inhabitants, individuals etc.
Sustainability in heritage protected areas : Book of Proceedings of the 5th AESOP European Urban Summer School Tours, France, from 1st – 8th September 2014
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