SESSION 06: From singular Heritage to integral categories – From Heritage to Heritage Landscape

The concept of heritage has had a notable transformation over the last six decades. Conceived in principle to exclusively acknowledge the great masterpieces of architecture and urbanism, Heritage today includes a wide range of goods and chattels that are testimonies of specific moments in the evolution of humankind as well as ways and means of perceiving and materializing the environment in which human life develops. In this sense, buildings, groups of buildings, industrial facilities, urban areas, cities and landscapes can integrate heritage groups, starting from recognizing their values linked to history, architecture, urbanism, science, traditional ways of life, among others.
In addition to tangible natural and cultural heritage, intangible heritage has also gained strength in recent decades. Intangible assets, such as music, dance, traditions, oral stories, have an impact on the cultural identity of communities.
From this perspective, the concept of cultural landscapes becomes increasingly relevant, due to its character not only as an articulator and backbone of society-nature relationships, but as an expression (in terms of ethics and aesthetics) of the heritage-territory relationship. Heritage landscapes are currently conceived as a system composed of natural and cultural, material and immaterial components that act as referents of the cultural identity of a given community.
Also recognized as a UNESCO heritage category, cultural landscapes became a new and rich conceptual breakthrough around heritage, explicitly recognizing its dimension and territorial uniqueness and the character of social construction that the landscape supposes. Thus conceived, the landscape is one of the principles prioritized in the OWH Sustainability Team, stating that:”The landscape is the context that gives the character (“genius loci”) to the site. The landscape is the result of historical interactions between its ecological and socio-cultural dimensions. The landscape is not only the “grand heritage of all heritages”; it is also the territorial context of the heritage site and the existential expression of its culture. Declarations of Outstanding Universal Value must recognize the cultural-nature continuum, and include the landscape (including sea- and skyscapes) around the selected site”.
We require an innovative conceptual and methodological approach towards our heritage landscapes. And this will be the focus of the debate during this session, in which we offer a space for debate and reflection with specially invited experts, interested parties and the general public, that will certainly be enriching and fruitful.

Lucía Pesci, Vice-President of FLACAM – Foro Latinoamericano de Ciencias Ambientales (Convener of the OWH Sustainability Debate)

Lui (Radium) Tam (Researcher PhD Student at Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and Member of the OWH Sustainability Debate Team)

María Eugenia Siguencia Ávila (University of Cuenca, Steering Panel OWH and Coordinator of the Disaster and Pandemic Team)
Pamela Durán Diaz (Senior Scientific Researcher on Land Management at the Technical University of Munich, Germany; and and Member of the OWH Sustainability Debate Team)
Tong Xu (Lecturer in Beijing Forestry University, China; Ph.D of University of Tokyo, Japan; Member of ICOMOS, and Member of Cultural Landscape Committee in CHSLA)
Sergio Guevara Sada (Doctor of Ecology, PhD., Uppsala University, Sweden), Coordinator of the UNESCO-UNITWIN Chair for Biosphere Reserves and Urban Environment. IberoMaB President

Leo Vignol Lelarge (Member of the OWH Sustainability Debate Team)


Welcome, Opening of the Session and Presentation of the Theme:
Lucía Pesci (Spanish)

Lucía Pesci is Executive Vice-President of FLACAM and Academic Coordinator of FLACAM (Latin American Forum of Environmental Sciences). UNESCO Chair / Unitwin Network for Sustainable Development. Professor and Graduate in Geography (UNLP, Argentina). PhD candidate in Urbanism (UPC-Spain). Master in Sustainable Development (UNLa-FLACAM). Vice President of the CEPA Foundation (Centers for Environmental Studies and Projects) and Director of CEPA Consulting. She is also Technical Secretary of the Chair in Sustainability Policies UNLP and teacher of the Specialization and Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development developed by FLACAM, together with UNLa (National University of Lanús, Argentina). As part of CEPA and FLACAM, he has participated in more than fifty projects in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico and Spain. His professional practice covers the following fields: sustainable urban and territorial development, urban and territorial planning. strategic planning, sustainable tourism planning, urban and regional plans, planning and management of the territory, heritage and landscape, cultural landscapes, environmental projects; and formulation, management and evaluation of sustainable development projects. She has participated and coordinated multiple plans, programs and projects, as a geographer and an expert in land, heritage and landscape management. She is also a researcher in the topics of her expertise mentioned above.

Presentation of the speakers and the mechanics of the session:
Lui (Radium) Tam Moderator (English)

Lui (Radium) Tam is currently a PhD candidate at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. Her PhD research explores an innovative theoretical framework and approach to sustainability and heritage, with a focus on built heritage in China. Initially trained as a building archaeologist and having practiced as a heritage conservation planner, her experience and expertise stand in the interdisciplinary crossroads of architecture, archaeology, urban planning, and heritage studies. She has collaborated with public and private sectors, NGOs, and other entities such as development agencies, across Asia and Europe on various heritage-related projects and research. She also has professional experience in publishing, film-making, and specialised tour-guiding with a heritage focus. Her publications and research interests cover topics such as sustainable heritage management, heritage tourism, Historic Urban Landscape and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. 


1. María Eugenia Siguencia Ávila
Heritage values protection, from monuments to the urban dimension. The case of Cuenca – Ecuador” (English)

Maria Eugenia Sigüencia is an architect working as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Cuenca, Ecuador. She obtained her Master in Conservation of Monuments and Sites (2014) and her PhD (2018) at KU Leuven, Belgium. Since 2012, she has been part of the City Preservation Management -CPM research group at the University of Cuenca where she is participating in two ongoing international heritage-driven projects. Currently, she is also actively involved in initiatives as OurWorldHeritage, Global Observatory- GoHUL, the CIPA (ICOMOS) Emerging-Professionals group and part of the Interim National Committee of ICOMOS Ecuador. Since 2013, I have been working as part of the ‘Ciudad Patrimonio Mundial’ research project. This project was established between KULeuven in Belgium and Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador. In 2014 I obtained my Master of Science in Conservation of Monuments and Sites (RLICC, KULeuven, 2014). My master thesis dealt with the Historic Urban Landscape areas/units for the conservation of the historic centre of Cuenca. Since December 2014 until December 2018, I developed my doctoral studies at KU Leuven. My research was about the positioning of Cuenca as a city implementing the 2011 Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes in a worldwide framework. I have been part of initiatives to develop methodologies for Cuenca that understand the multiple layers shaping the city and how they can be better integrated for sustainable management. This has driven opportunities to be part of international conferences and to publish my work in scientific journals. Currently I am working as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture at Universidad de Cuenca, where I am also part of two ongoing international research projects and multiple local initiatives for the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

2. Pamela Durán Díaz
“Extreme cultural landscapes” (English)

Pamela is a Member of FLACAM Team, Convener OWH-Sustainability Team and Scientific Researcher at the Chair of Land Management of the Technical University of Munich. Pamela is a Mexican architect with a PhD in Urbanism from Spain and a postdoc on Sustainable Management of Cultural Landscapes in China and Mali. She is a scientific researcher at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, where she coordinates the Doctoral and Master's Programmes in Land Management and Geospatial Science. She is the Project Manager of ADLAND, a collaborative research project to strengthen land governance in Africa. She is a founder member of the research Ginna Kanda “International Forum for the Development of Cultural Landscapes” and a member of UNESCO Chair FLACAM. She has been a keynote speaker, lecturer and presenter in several international workshops, seminars and conferences in Argentina, China, Ethiopia, France, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Serbia, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, USA and Uruguay, among others. Her research focuses on sustainable policies and strategies, in which the local culture acts as a catalyst for development.

3. Tong Xu
“Cultural meaning in landscape structure of vernacular settlement. Understanding the cultural meaning of vernacular settlement from a landscape anthropological approach. A case study of a minority village in south China.” (English)

XU Tong, lecturer of Beijing Forestry University (BJFU, China), and member of ICOMOS, ICOMOS-China, and Member of Cultural Landscape Committee in CHSLA. XU got his Ph.d on Urban conservation from the University of Tokyo(Japan), and started his research on heritage conservation since his trained experience, bachelor of architecture and master of architecture history. Since his working as Post-doctor in Tsinghua and lecturer in BJFU, XU participated as director of several heritage conservation programs under Chinese Cultural Heritage Management System. And XU attended 38-39th, 41st session of World Heritage Committee, and wrote observing reports on WHC. Now, his research field is focused on the critical approach to heritage conservation theory, especially on the methodology of Landscape and Anthropology. On such, he has published several books and academic papers.

4. Sergio Guevara Sada  
“Is the memory of the landscape the heritage of the biosphere?” (Spanish)

Sergio Guevara has a degree in Biology (UNAM, Mexico, 1972), a Master in Sciences, Biology (UNAM, 1972) and a Doctor in Ecology, PhD. (Uppsala University, Sweden, 1986). He was a Full Time Professor of the UNAM Ecology Laboratory (1973-1991), General Director of the Institute of Ecology, AC (1993-2002), President of the Network of National Committees and Biosphere Reserves of Ibero-America and the Caribbean IBEROMaB (2006- 2011), and President of the International Coordination Council of the UNESCO MaB Program (2014-2016). He is Coordinator of the Subcommittee for the MaB Program, Mexican Commission for UNESCO Support, since 2006 and Coordinator of the UNESCO-UNITWIN Chair, Biosphere Reserves and Urban Environment since 2015. Among its most important Research Lines are the Biosphere Reserves and Urban Environment, the Conservation, restoration and management of landscape diversity: mobility of biodiversity and connectivity and the Environmental History of Mexican landscapes.

Q&A and discussion with moderator 
(Spanish and English)