OWHC 10th World Congress, Quito, 2009
The 10th OWHC World Congress was held in Quito, Ecuador, September 8–11, 2009. In 1978, Quito was, with Kraków, Poland, one of the first two cities to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The theme of the 10th congress was "Revitalization of Historical Centers: How to Involve All Social Actors?"
The successful revitalization of historic cities goes beyond the preservation and conservation of their physical fabric. It requires a process taking into account the cultural values embedded in the spatial and physical components of the place, and involves residents and all other relevant participants from the public and private sectors to ensure that conservation and development actions are both appropriate and sustainable. Examination of the role that heritage conservation can play as a catalyst for urban regeneration and revitalization was a central congress theme.
To explore the theme, the organizers of the 10th World Congress developed a program that included four keynote presentations, several small group discussions centered on questions raised by the presentations, a poster session featuring analyses of case studies related to the Congress theme, and activities for a select group of university students in Quito. A summary of the most relevant ideas exchanged during the discussion sessions was presented at the concluding session.
The pre-congress mayors' workshop concentrated on the Ronda project—a regeneration project in a historic center neighborhood—and other similar projects in the periphery of the historic center of Quito. The program included site visits and discussions and was organized to appreciate both the regeneration efforts and the conservation work on some of the most impressive monuments in the historic center.