Plaza de Armas, Cusco

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

The components of the project included:

•   OWHC 8th World Symposium, Cusco, 2005
•   OWHC 9th World Congress, Kazan, 2007
•   OWHC 10th World Congress, Quito, 2009
•   OWHC 11th World Congress, Sintra, 2011
•   OWHC 12th World Congress, Oaxaca, 2013
•   evaluation

The membership of the Organization of World Heritage Cities is composed of cities on UNESCO's World Heritage List, numbering approximately 250 cities in 2014. 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 World Congress of the OWHC is a unique forum held every two years, which brings together politicians and cultural heritage professionals who are committed to the preservation of historic cities. Since the first world meeting in 1991, this event has enabled participants to discuss topics of common interest, to share experiences, and to learn about new strategies for meeting the challenges associated with the conservation and management of World Heritage cities.

Between 2003 and 2013, the GCI worked with the OWHC to develop the scientific program for their annual symposia or congress. The objectives of the GCI–OWHC collaboration were to:

  • better understand some of the current important conservation and management issues related to historic cities and to identify specific areas where the GCI could work collaboratively with cities and other institutions to address these important issues;
  • create a model for future forums where all participants of the OWHC World Congress—politicians and conservation professionals—have an opportunity to discuss the salient issues raised during these international gatherings;
  • bring together experts conversant in the latest developments related to the congress theme, as well as relevant and practical examples; and
  • develop and test a prototype course to introduce new mayors and decision makers of World Heritage cities to their role and responsibilities in relation to conservation.

Information on future biennial congresses can be found on the Organization of World Heritage City's website.

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Last updated: December 2014