2016 International Training Course on Heritage Impact Assessments Successfully Concluded in Historic City of Vigan
From:WHITRAP Shanghai Author:PEI Jieting  PublishDate:2016-10-27  Hits:2815

The third session of the Heritage Impact Assessment Training Course, a collaboration between WHITRAP and ICCROM, took place in the Historic City of Vigan, the Philippines, between 18 – 27 October 2016. Twelve participants from ten different countries representing the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Arab World, completed the course. The resource persons who shared their knowledge and expertise in the field consisted of Mr. Richard Engelhardt, UNESCO senior advisor, Ms. Pamela Rogers, heritage consultant, Ms. Katri Lisitzin, representing ICCROM and Ms. Luisa de Marco, representing ICOMOS. The workshop successfully concluded on 27 October following the presentations of participants’ group work in the presence of Vigan authorities, and following a certificate-awarding ceremony.

The course was centered on three closely linked aspects: firstly, providing the theoretical background on Heritage Impact Assessments through a series of lectures aimed at outlining the methodology and principles of carrying out HIAs. Throughout this process, another important component was sharing knowledge and experience through participant presentations and through fruitful discussions that took place daily. In the second half of the course, participants were encouraged to apply the acquired theoretical framework in professional practice, being asked to carry out a group exercise centered on three case studies in Vigan. In addition to the sessions which took place during the day, participants also took part in a series of extra-curricular activities represented by events that were part of the week-long 2016 Vigan Raniag Festival, and did a series of site visits. This not only provided valuable information for the case study exercise, but enriched the participants’ experience in Vigan.

In order to complete the case study exercise, participants were divided into three groups which worked independently. The first group focused on strategies for alleviating traffic congestion, and in particular the development of a bypass road and a multi-storey car-park. The second group focused on Vigan’s tourism-related events and venues: the development of a theme park, the increasing number of festival, and the revitalization of a river cruise. The third group focused on Vigan hotel development strategy, with particular attention given to the issue of the adaptive re-use of historic houses. Following their presentations, all groups were commended by the resource persons for their efforts in data-collection, and their thorough attempts at following the HIA methodology and presenting the information in a systematic manner. The work also resulted in a set of interesting mitigation measures, which were carefully recorded by the City Government authorities present.

The organizers hope that all groups involved in the organization of this successful workshop will benefit from the rich inter-cultural exchange, and participants will go on to apply and disseminate, at international level, the theoretical and practical knowledge gained.


Fig1. Site Visits in Vigan

Fig2.Certificate-awarding Ceremony

Fig3.Visiting Local Ancestral House

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