An International Scientific Committee of
ICOMOS

Built heritage and intangible heritage in historical urban landscapes

ABSTRACT: The goal of this paper is to suggest that unique heritage values of Historical Urban Landscapes combine both built heritage and intangible heritage values. These include the physical urban spaces, cultural properties of architectural, aesthetic, historical as well as cultural characteristics of the population living within them. This paper presents examples of intangible heritage in Historical Urban Landscapes in Israel and shows that this links the residents to their city, gives special meanings to their life, a unique local identity and a diverse collective memory. Successful scientific research methods, documentation and safeguarding procedures for these values are still developing. Recognition of this heritage has the power to join national development organizations and the local communities. Proper and careful management of these aspects can develop new sources of income for residents and integrate them into new industries in their city.

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Locations of the Global in Traditional Architecture

Alcindor, Monica Huelva, “Locations of the Global in Traditional Architecture,” in Vernacular and Earthen Architecture Towards Local Development, ed. Shao Yong, Gisle Jakhelin, Mariana Correia (Tongji University Press, 2019), 351-357.

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Refurbishment, vernacular architecture and invented traditions: the case of the Empordanet (Catalonia)

In the recent past, processes of urbanisation related to gentrification have been observed in some rural areas. This article analyses the role of the rehabilitation of vernacular architecture and mainly addresses social groups with high levels of income in the territorial dynamics of the Empordanet in Catalonia (Spain). This case is particularly relevant for two reasons. On the one hand, the Empordanet is under particularly intense and socially selective pressure because of its proximity to Barcelona. On the other hand, this demand for housing is partially related to the reclamation of a kind of tradition associated with a component of strong regional identity. This article explores the various ways in which tradition is reclaimed, recovered, and reinvented, insisting particularly on agents’ behaviours framed in the broader context of governmentality. This is done through a pluralistic research methodology based on the dialogue between architecture and the social sciences. One of its main conclusions is that the rehabilitation of vernacular rural buildings generates a type of housing completely different from traditional constructions in its conception, functionality, design, materials, and construction processes. Furthermore, rehabilitation is closely associated with the generation of a new form of tradition.

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Protegiendo lo inmaterial

Buenas prácticas para la aplicación de los derechos de propiedad intelectual en en patrimonio inmaterial. Este listado es resultante del debate generado en el marco de las Jornadas “Protegiendo lo inmaterial: Jornadas sobre Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial y Propiedad Intelectual’, celebradas en el Museo de Navarra los días 17 y 18 de septiembre de 2019. Estas Jornadas fueron organizadas por la Asociación Intangia y Labrit Patrimonio, con la colaboración del Gobierno de Navarra y la financiación del Minsterio de Cultura y Deporte y Fundación Caja Navarra.

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The governance of safeguarding. Comments on Article 2.3 of the ICH Convention

Reflexions on the key dispositif(1) adopted by Unesco’s Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Article 2.3). In these Comments, I initially situate the notion of ‘safeguarding’ in the context of transformations of other preservation instruments which it dialogues and to whose semantic field it belongs. Challenges to its implementation and possibilities opened by this treaty for the protection of what has been designated as ‘folklore and traditional (and popular) culture’(2) are addressed. After offering an interpretation of its textual meaning in the Convention, I seek to explore how this device is articulated to others in this Convention, and to reflect on its possible practical reach.

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‘Safeguarding’, a key dispositif of the ICH convention

The expression ‘safeguarding intangible cultural heritage’ was formed within the context of transformations in the instruments and strategies for protecting cultural elements usually designated ‘folklore and traditional (and popular) culture’.(1) The adoption of a ‘cultural heritage approach’ to this subject was a somewhat turbulent process that drew, since the mid-twentieth century, a winding path of dialogues with, and divergences from, common sense notions and mainstream preservationist culture. Throughout this process, political and conceptual possibilities for social engineering were envisaged, some were discarded, choices were legitimized and, no less importantly, networks were formed of agents and narrators of the political and legal negotiations that eventually lead to designing UNESCO ICH Convention as officially adopted. This path will be explored in the following comments on the formation of safeguarding as a cultural heritage policy dispositive(2) and significant contrasts to other instruments, in relation to which it has acquired specificity, meaning and scope.

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2018 Living Heritage Conference Report

The final report of the 2018 Living Heritage Conference is available for download (in French). The conference celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Conseil québécois du patrimoine vivant and attracted over 250 attendees. The report outlines the discussions of the various thematic working groups on elements of intangible heritage in Canada as well as reflections on the use of the Global Result Framework of the 2003 Convention. 

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Exploring Intangible Cultural Heritage in Museum Contexts: A Pilot Project

The Report demonstrates the benefits of involving ICH practicing communities and artists as intermediaries between the diverse groups of bearers and cultural organisations, in order  to forge an equitable tripartite curation that might make collections and museum spaces alive and relevant to contemporary society. It also shows why, as a consequence, museums could benefit from  reviewing and recasting their physical and practical boundaries. Bearer communities are guardians of our rich and diverse cultural traditions, collective memories, history, stories and rites and ritual practices.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee ICOMOS UK © 2018 – all rights reserved

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The Participation in the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: The role of Communities, Groups and Individuals

The aim of this book is to understand whether participatory methodologies are being applied in the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) or not. If it is possible to identify problems, advantages, good practices or clues that support new and more effective participatory techniques.

Confronting the theory with the practices, the author concluded that the participation of communities, groups and individuals (CGIs) is still residual. In the scope of ICH safeguard projects, Filomena Sousa identifies five aspects that make this difficult to achieve: 1) excessive centrality of the States in the heritagization process; 2) diversity of interpretations of the concepts; 3) deficit of information among the CGIs; 4) deficit of experience in the improvement of teams composed of different actors and 5) deficit of methods and professionals to operationalise the participation.

After describing each of these obstacles, the author presents a methodological suggestion that can be adapted to different moments of the safeguarding process, which should be understood as flexible and adaptable according to the cultural contexts.


O objetivo deste livro é perceber se as metodologias participativas estão a ser aplicadas no âmbito da salvaguarda do Património Cultural Imaterial (PCI). Nesta obra a autora identifica dificuldades, vantagens, boas práticas e pistas que sustentam novas e mais eficazes técnicas de participação.

Do confronto da teoria com as práticas conclui-se que, sendo a participação das comunidades, grupos e indivíduos (CGIs) enfatizada nos discursos, na realidade, esse envolvimento ainda é residual. A autora identifica cinco aspetos que dificultam essa concretização: 1) a excessiva centralidade dos Estados nos processos de patrimonialização; 2) a diversidade das interpretações dos conceitos; 3) a falta de informação entre os CGIs; 4) a falta de experiência na dinamização de equipas compostas por diferentes atores e 5) a falta de método e de profissionais para operacionalizar a participação. 

Filomena Sousa apresenta ainda uma sugestão metodológica que poderá adequar-se às diferentes fases do processo de salvaguarda e que deve ser entendida como modal e adaptável conforme os contextos culturais.

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