Creating the Palimpsest City and Cultural Complexity: Learning from Bath

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In recent years, despite having World Heritage status, the cultural sites of Bath and Edinburgh (2008) Liverpool (2006 & 2011) and London (2006 & 2011) were subjected to joint UNESCO-ICOMOS visits to address development pressure issues affecting these historic urban sites when specific proposals had the potential to adversely impact their OUV’s. Although Prague, ‘has been saved from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions and thus preserves its overall configuration, pattern and spatial composition,’ in 2018 UNESCO expressed great concern regarding ‘the number of large-scale development projects proposed within buffer zone of the property and its wider setting, as well as the lack of specific regulations on high-rise developments, which may substantially impact on the OUV of the property’, (UNESCO 2018). The main threats and challenges affecting the integrity, authenticity and OUV’s of World Heritage cities such as Bath and Prague include rapid urbanisation and aggressive and inappropriate architectural interventions which often necessitate the demolition of individual buildings or large swathes of historic urban fabric. Other significant factors that have a detrimental impact on their visual integrity are inappropriate designs that take no account of their historic context, tall buildings, out-of-scale developments to provide large-scale floor space and facilities to meet tourism needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEAAE Thematic Network on Conservation CONSERVATION / DEMOLITION
EditorsEAAE Scientific Committee
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherEuropean Association for Architectural Education
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021


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