Sep 21 - 2012
The event “Lessons from Kosovo – How post conflict society is dealing with planning and cultural heritage” was held on 4th September 2012, from 11.00 – 12.00 hrs in a City Changer Room of the World Urban Forum Exhibition Area, Naples-Italy.
This was a joint event organized by Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) and UN Habitat Programmes in Kosovo, with a focus on cooperation between CHwB and UN-Habitat Kosovo in supporting Kosovo municipalities in spatial and urban planning and the use of plans in guiding local development, creating spatial order, protecting environment and cultural heritage, reducing the risk of natural and manmade disasters and mitigating their consequences.
Welcome words at the session were delivered by Mr. Sali Shoshi, Director of CHwB Office in Kosovo, and Mrs. Krystyna Galezia, Head of Office UN-HABITAT’s Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme in Kosovo (MuSPP). The two have introduced a brief narrative on the mission of both respective organizations focusing on their programme synergies for an initiative of a joint and single presentation from Kosovo in such global stand.
UN Habitat presenters Mr. Ishaku Maitumbi and Mrs.Rudina Qerimi focused on four topics selected from key areas in which Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme is engaged; these included: visioning as planning tool, in-house planning, disaster risk assessment, management and placemaking.
The presentation was then followed with a specific subject matter delivered by CHwB representative Mr. Enes Toska on the state of cultural heritage from a post-conflict context such as urban growth (uncontrolled), human negligence and on the most recent war in Kosovo. This Kosovan context was then followed by tangible examples of the improved situation in the municipalities where CHwB has operated these past 10 years. The examples were visualized through restoration projects and emergency interventions in historic objects, integrated conservation in spatial planning – an approach the organization is consistently endorsing; various projects of awareness raising and education, local development projects through cultural heritage, Bed & Breakfast service projects for traditional buildings, promotion of cultural diversity, promotion of cultural tourism and strengthening the role of women in Kosovan society as well.
In each presentation session speakers focused particularly on the joint projects and the synergies of both representing organizations. Integral part of the presentation was Q&A session and deliberations by an audience of about 70 participants present. Partakers felt eager for additional details on the general situation and the outcomes of the work of both organizations.
In conclusion, all session participants present during seven days of the Forum, and also to those non-presents at the session, DVDs with promotional materials of both organizations and a symbolic number of print publications were distributed. That was rather because the Forum had adopted a non-paper policy, thus promoting environmental protection issues.
Participants from both organisations had a chance to take part in different presentations, side and parallel events, networking meetings, listen to panel discussions during four dialogue sessions and many other activities. All this gave an opportunity to further promote the programs amongst different actors and urban professionals present in the forum.
World Urban Forum is conceived as a platform where various segments of society can discuss, learn, practice, agree and disagree on different ways to build and sustain a more prosperous urban future for our cities. Forum could identify initiatives and commitments that can be effectively implemented to create cities that are more democratic, just, sustainable and humane.
The Forum is also intended to re-examine the manner in which UN-Habitat and its partners contribute to guiding and enriching the policy work on sustainable urbanization through an open dialogue. It examined the continuity and discontinuities as well as the implications of the unfolding demographic magnitudes. It has provided an opportunity to grapple with the challenge of fostering prosperity and connecting it with the challenge of broadening the improvements in the quality of urban life. The Forum has also examined the old and newly emerging factors creating prosperity, which actors trigger positive change, what kinds of strategies they use, what prevents cities from becoming more prosperous and how they can engage in interdisciplinary analysis to develop policies and plans to meet their goals for urban-based social and economic development that is environmentally safe, equitable and sustainable.
The previous sessions of the World Urban Forum (WUF) made it clear that managing rapid urbanization will be one of the most pressing problems confronting humanity in the 21st century. The Third session of the WUF in Vancouver (Canada) in 2006, focused on Sustainable Urbanization and Inclusive Cities. One of the Forum’s messages was that the urban population of developing countries is set to double from two to four billion in the next 30 years. This will require the equivalent of planning, financing, and servicing facilities for a new city of one million people to be built every week for the next 30 years. The theme of the Fourth session of WUF held in Nanjing (China) in 2008 was Harmonious Urbanization. This session made it clear that a society cannot be harmonious if large sections of its population are deprived from basic needs while other sections live in opulence. An important message from this Forum was that harmony in cities cannot be achieved if the price of urban living is paid by the environment. The concept of harmony entails the synchronization and integration of all the Earth’s assets: physical, environmental, cultural, historical, social or human. The Fifth session of the WUF was held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 2010 and it focused on the Right to the City: Bridging the Urban Divide. The Forum shared perspectives and viewpoints on the relevance of this concept, identifying what is needed to bridge the urban divide, and to facilitate a prompt and sustainable transition from a city that is partially inclusive to one that is fully inclusive.
The highly successful World Urban Forum saw a total of 8,271 participants registering. As far as countries go, it was the most successful with some 152 countries being represented. The next World Urban Forum will be held in 2014 in Medellin, Colombia.