ICCROM-Sharjah is launching “MEDINA” Initiative webinars

ICCROM-Sharjah is launching “MEDINA” Initiative webinars
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ICCROM-Sharjah is launching “MEDINA” Initiative webinars

ICCROM-Sharjah is organising webinars that target international, regional and national actors working in urban heritage conservation, as well as regional and international organisations, in order to draw on their expertise to devise an effective framework for the future MEDINA initiative which addresses the protection of historic cities and aims at supporting the enhancement of urban heritage management in the Arab region.

Five webinars are scheduled to take place every Monday at 16:00 GST (Sharjah time) between 8th June and 6th July 2020. The webinars will address five main themes to help identify the needs and priorities of this initiative and to formulate an effective action plan.

The webinar themes are interconnected and were developed to invoke brainstorming and discussion on the MEDINA initiative. ICCROM-Sharjah proposes the following five themes with questions on each theme to help identify the needs and priorities of this initiative:

Theme one: Urban transformation of historic cities and post-conflict recovery plans

1-    How can ownership and identity be fostered among local communities in historic cities and follow a planning process, which does not cause risks to, and damage of, historical urban landscapes?

2-    What are the characteristics of an effective historic cities management that motivates the community to preserve and revive historic cities? How are these characteristics affected by modern urban transformations?

3-    In light of increased migration and urbanization of larger cities, how can we invest in smaller scale cities to increase their attractiveness and liveability?

4-    What traditional building techniques and material can inform new construction in old contexts?

5-    How can the MEDINA initiative build capacities in historic cities to support their attractiveness and slow down migration to larger cities?

Theme two: Institutional capacity in managing urban heritage

1-    Has local institutional capacity in mid-size cities been successful in protecting historic cities?

2-    On which level could external stakeholders or initiatives, such as MEDINA, intervene in order to improve governance mechanism and management of historic cities?

3-    Considering stakeholders and management patterns, would larger or secondary cities benefit more from the MEDINA initiative?

4-    How can the impact of the MEDINA initiative be sustainable?

5-    What timeframe would be necessary and realistic to build capacity and knowledge for supporting historic cities?

6-    How can the MEDINA initiative support local institutional capacities in historic cities?

Theme three: Traditional knowledge, and the economics of historic cities

1-    What aspects of traditional knowledge and living heritage can guide new construction plans and economic and social development?

2-    How can certain types of living heritage improve/ sustain the quality of life of local communities in historic cities, and how can we support the sustainability of such living heritage?

3-    How would different elements – tangible or intangible – foster pride and belonging among users of historic cities?

4-    What potentials do historic cities have to sustain their economies and benefit their communities?

5-    What incentives can encourage investment in historic cities to sustain and enhance livelihoods?

6-    What support/ resources are needed to sustain living heritage and make it more relevant and practical in modern times?

Theme four: managing urban heritage in its natural environments, and risk management

1-    In the contemporary lifestyle, what connects historic cities to the natural environment? How crucial is this link in keeping the living heritage alive?

2-    How does the concept of Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) affect modern urban conservation approaches, considering the impact of climate change (droughts, floods, etc.), in addition to traditional life of historic cities?

3-    How can traditional methods be adopted to manage disaster risks in living historic cities? What are the traditional approaches to address risks of natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes, etc?

4-    How can living heritage in historic cities contribute to climate change adaptation processes (i.e., reducing carbon emission)?

5-    What are the risks associated with climate change challenge or natural hazards that historic cities will face in the future?

6-    How can cross-sectoral approaches to conservation contribute to establishing an effective historic cities management?

7-    How can MEDINA build capacities in historic cities to support the sustainability of the natural environment and urban contexts, and address climate change risk management?

Theme five: General framework of the MEDINA Programme, an integration of initiatives.

1-    What are the ultimate objectives, and measurable interim goals that the MEDINA initiative should aim to achieve?

2-    What are the reasonable timeframes to set for interim goals, and consequently, what is the reasonable timeframe of the program?

3-    Should the MEDINA initiative select pilot cities to work on? If so, what are the selection criteria for choosing such cities?

4-    What local partners should be involved in the implementation to achieve the goals of this initiative?

5-    What relevant initiatives are operating on the ground today that the MEDINA initiative can, or should, partner with?

6-    ICCROM is the only international organization specialized capacity-building, what other elements should be included in the MEDINA initiative to achieve its goals, and to sustain its impact?

ICCROM-Sharjah is encouraging practitioners and interested professionals to attend the webinars as observers. Each webinar will be two hours long. In the first hour, 3 to 4 speakers will give short presentations on the issues and challenges facing urban heritage conservation related to the selected theme. After a short recess, the second hour will be dedicated to group discussions on the same theme. Working languages throughout the webinars are Arabic and English, and the organizers are providing simultaneous interpretation.

To register for all webinars please click here or follow the link:

https://forms.gle/UXgkN6SNjPBeE8sG8

To keep updated on upcoming webinars, follow us on Facebook and twitter @ICCROMATHAR