Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


EWH projects highlighted at China conference

EWH’s experience in community-led conservation projects was highlighted at a recent conference at Guangzhou in China.

Jan 29, 2015

On 11-12 December 2014 a roundtable meeting of the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) initiative took place in Guangzhou, looking at the role of community participation and public-private partnerships in Urban Heritage Management.

The meeting in Guangzhou was part of the Historic Preservation Conference South China 2014, with speakers from a variety of organisations involved in the management of historic cities. The group of Chinese experts involved Professor Qiyao Deng from Sun Yat-Sen University, the Executive Director of Guangzhou Lingnan Cultural Heritage Institute Jingdong Chen, Associate Director of Economic Science and Education Channel of Guangzhou Radio Television Station, and He Shaoguang who coordinated the whole event behind the scenes.

Our Chinese colleagues illustrated how participative conservation works in Guangdong Province.  The international group of experts was led by Dr Ron van Oers from WHITRAP (Shanghai) who presented the concept of the Historic Urban Landscape. Professor Kenneth Taylor from the Australian National University is a keen traveller and observer of rapid changes of the Chinese historic cities, and his presentation provided an external take on the situation in China. Susan Fayad from the City of Ballarat in Australia spoke about her experience in engaging the local community with the city’s management, and its Victorian gold rush era legacy. Representing EWH, Krzysztof Chuchra spoke about the charity’s experience in developing conservation-led private/public partnerships in Edinburgh.

The conference included a visit to the community driven Kaiping Village Conservation and Development Project. Kaiping Diaolou and Villages is a fascinating World Heritage Site where the traditional Chinese architecture was merged with Western architectural forms, in a defensive manner. Here the villagers are working in collaboration with a local university to develop a restoration project in their village. The residents discussed their project with the conference delegates, inviting them to an authentic Guangzhou lunch, and even allowed Krzysztof to join in their traditional lion dance.

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