The first in a series of seminars, "Urban Conservation: Current Practices and Future Directions," was held at the GCI on March 20, 1996. The seminar was organized for professional staff from the GCI, the Getty Grant Program, and the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities who are coordinating international projects for the conservation of historic human settlements.
The conservation of historic city centers is among the most complex of conservation undertakings. The challenge is balancing preservation with the legitimate needs of the local population for modern services. At the seminar, key emerging issues and research on urban conservation methodologies were presented by Senior Program Coordinator Lori Anglin and Research Fellow Cristina Iamandi of the GCI. Invited speakers described leading regional approaches from North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. The topics addressed included definitions of urban conservation and historic urban centers, values being protected in urban conservation, operation of large-scale conservation programs, and identification of priorities. Presentations were followed by a discussion of various approaches and future directions in conserving historic towns and cities.
On April 18, 1996, as another part of this seminar series, the Master Plan of Akko, Israel, was presented for discussion to senior staff of the GCI. Akko is one of Israel's most important historic cities, as well as one of the world's oldest townsin fact, it is mentioned in Egyptian sacred texts of the 19th century B.C.E. The old city was the main port during the Crusader period (11th - 13th centuries) and the capital of the Crusader kingdom after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims. Today Akko retains its Crusader-Ottoman character: its minarets and domes, vast archaeological resources, labyrinth of streets, and Arab markets all contribute to the old town's popularity as a tourist attraction.
The Akko Master Plan is designed to balance economic development through tourism with the conservation of the city's historic features. Key members of the Israeli interdisciplinary project team described the scope of the work, its aims, goals, and actions. The seminar was moderated by GCI Training Program Director Marta de la Torre.
URBAN CONSERVATION SEMINAR SPEAKERS
Consultant Architect and Urban Planner, Ferrara, Italy
Director, International Centre for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage, Venice
Director, European Centre for Craftsmen Training in the Conservation of Architectural Heritage, Venice
Consultant Architect and Conservation Planner, Cultural Management Consultants, Los Angeles
Urban Planner, Executive Director of the Society of Environmental Graphic Design, Washington, D.C.
Former Program Manager, National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center
AKKO SEMINAR SPEAKERS
Consultant Architect and Planner, Jerusalem
Architect and Head, Planning Team for Akko Master Plan
Special Projects Director, GCI
Former Director of Conservation, Israel Antiquities Authority
Khawla Abu Baker
Sociologist responsible for sociological aspects of Akko Master Plan