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Heritage: a model for sustainable development

(4-5 October 2010, Paris, France)
European Symposium, October 4th & 5th 2010 in Paris, France

How must we achieve a balance between energy performance and heritage qualities for sustainable cities and towns? How to respond to two strong societal needs and challenges for the future: preserving our heritage materials, urban buildings, rural heritage, vernacular memorials, and intangible heritage while equally reducing energy bills and fighting against climate change.

This conference presented a comparative view between European countries regarding their legal obligations for preserving architectural and urban heritage, and saving energy in existing buildings. Today, the sustainable development of historic towns has become a major imperative, to which the protection of architectural and urban heritage contribute greatly.

However, most modern solutions that achieve the required energy savings rely on contemporary construction standards that are not necessarily compatible with the specific architectural and technical characteristics of ancient buildings and vernacular architecture.

Presentations were given by various European and Mediterranean representatives of national ICOMOS committees, ICOMOS France, Euromed Heritage, regional and local public authorities, as well as heritage experts. They showcased best practice examples, either traditional, forgotten or innovating, that are emerging among Europe and Euromediterranean countries.

Discussions and proposals based on case studies provide theoretical and practical references for upcoming public policy development initiated by member countries and local authorities.

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