Celebrating Our Urban Heritage
The physical and cultural legacy of urban regions is a valuable asset to be preserved, enhanced, and honored. This precious legacy connects history to future generations, enables broad-based sustainable prosperity, and emphasizes quality of life as a key building block for economic well-being, environmental health, and social vitality. The competitive advantage of places - what makes them attractive and special - is the character and spirit of community that is embedded in our history. The rapid pace of change in the 21st century underscores the need to conserve the treasures of the past, and to pay homage to the dynamic evolution of human ingenuity and urban civilization over many centuries. Market systems are increasingly reflecting greater respect for the value of what is old and traditional. Global Urban Development works on projects that highlight the economic, social, and sustainable importance of, and encourage public and private investment in: preserving historic buildings and districts, celebrating ethnic and cultural diversity, promoting heritage tourism, and appreciating recreation and nature. Many of these projects emphasize citizen participation, civic activism, and community-based initiatives, from arts festivals and crafts fairs to architecture museums and neighborhood walking tours.
This GUD program committee continues to work on creating greater understanding among policymakers and investors of GUD's decade-long project on "Urban Heritage as an Economic Asset." The committee produced an edited volume on Urban Heritage published in August 2008 as a special issue of GUD Magazine. This project was initiated by the committee, and the magazine’s editors are the committee’s three co-chairs, Luigi Fusco Girard, Donovan Rypkema, and Belinda Yuen, together with Marc Weiss and Nancy Sedmak-Weiss. Several members of the committee on Celebrating Our Urban Heritage contributed articles to this special issue of GUD Magazine, including Robert Freestone, Donovan Rypkema, Kathryn Smith, and Pablo Vaggione.
Currently GUD is working with the International Scientific Committee on the Economics of Conservation (ISCEC) of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to produce a special issue of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development. The Co-Editors of this special issue are GUD Advisory Board member Christer Gustafsson and GUD Board member Don Rypkema.
Our Urban Heritage Committee
Co-Chairs: Luigi Fusco Girard, Donovan Rypkema, and Belinda Yuen
Cid Blanco Jr.
Ritu George Kaliaden
Laura Lee Ross