Plaza de Armas, Cusco

Aimed at improving conservation and management of historic cities, this project involves a collaboration between the GCI and the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) in the organizing of the OWHC World Symposia.

The components of the project are:

The membership of the Organization of World Heritage Cities is composed of cities on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Currently, there are 208 such cities. There are important common issues associated with the conservation and management of historic towns of all sizes and origin, which the OWHC attempts to address in its activities.

The objectives of the GCI–OWHC collaboration are:

  • to better understand some of the current important conservation and management issues related to historic cities and to identify specific areas where the GCI can work collaboratively with cities and other institutions to address these important issues;
  • to develop a methodology for creating a forum where all participants of the OWHC World Symposium have an opportunity to discuss the salient issues raised during these international gatherings;
  • to develop and test a prototype course to introduce new mayors and decision makers to their role as persons responsible for World Heritage Cities.

In 2003, the GCI agreed to assist the OWHC to develop and organize the scientific track of the OWHC's 8th World Symposium in Cusco, Peru in September 2005. Following the success of this first venture, the GCI agreed to perform the same service for the 9th World Symposium in Kazan, Russia in June 2007.

One of the important issues raised early on in the collaborative project involved newly elected mayors, who are generally elected to four-year terms. Each newly elected mayor needs to be introduced to the responsibilities associated with running a World Heritage City. To address that need, the GCI—in addition to the scientific track—developed and tested an introductory course to conservation specifically tailored for newly elected mayors or officials.

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Last updated: July, 2008