A quick trip to the ICOMOS Paris 2011 General Assembly and scientific symposium at UNESCO in Paris. http://www.icomos-paris2011.com
The scientific symposium is split into different themes exploring the ideas of ‘heritage as a driver of development. I was due to present in the session on development and the return to the art of building.
Unfortunately I had to change my plans and depart from the conference early. But my paper explored issues concerned with sustainability, climate change, heritage and earth buildings. Arguing a 21 st century understanding of heritage can counter some of the problems associated with the links between intangible heritage and notions of anti-development.
In conclusion I argue that linkage between environmental impacts, climate adaptability and heritage concerns are important and wildly optimistic. But such a broad understanding would suggest we need to significantly rethink the role and place of ‘heritage’. What is the real impact on decision making for conservation – do we do more or less? Is heritage an obstacle in relation to other forms of sustainable development (such as Wind farms?). Other times we can perhaps best explore values and significances through other methods (such as art installations etc), which allow us to reflect on contemporary issues, rather than ‘just’ those traditional heritage values of time and places.
If you want to read more this is a link to the paper (.doc): ICOMOS_Theme2_LouiseCooke