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Symposium on ‘Protecting World Cultural Heritage Sites and Their Historic Urban Environment from Earthquakes’ held in Nepal
  PublishDate:2009-02-24  Hits:1367

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Kathmandu Symposium on ‘Protecting World Cultural Heritage Sites and Their Historic Urban Environment from Earthquakes’ was organized by Ritsumeikan University’s Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage (Rits-DMUCH) in cooperation with UNESCO Kathmandu Office and the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, from 16th to 19th February 2009. The symposium focused on the World Cultural Heritage Sites in historic areas, exposed to the risk of earthquakes. It took Kathmandu Valley and Kyoto as cases to illustrate the challenges from fast pace of urbanization, population growth, disassembly of indigenous community as well as the loss of traditional knowledge. Through extended discussions among experts from UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOMOS ICORP, Australia, Bhutan, Canada, China, India, Peru, Japan and Nepal, as well as on-site visit of the World Heritage Monument Zones in Kathmandu Valley, the future research needs and pragmatic approaches as well as methodologies were proposed in the form of Kathmandu Recommendation (draft).

The Symposium was mainly composed of two technical sessions: structural analysis and mitigation measures of heritage structures for seismic safety, and analysis vulnerability of heritage sites in historic urban areas. Dr. Ping KONG representing WHITR-AP (Shanghai) was invited to give lecture on ‘Disaster Management of Living Heritage Sites: Reflection of Chinese cases’. The lecture highlighted the impacts of human interventions, traditional knowledge system and local participation on heritage values and its management issues. The observations in Kathmandu Valley and the presentations from other countries share similar challenges in the conservation of historic heritage in urban context. Therefore joint efforts and comparative studies are required to better understand the dynamic situation and raise pragmatic measures on reducing vulnerability to earthquakes and other potential risks.

Provided by Dr. PING KONG, Assistant Director of WHITR-AP (Shanghai)

 

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                                              Bhaktapur Durbar Square                                          Nepalese windows                                                                                

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Site visit to Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu

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