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 City & Time > Vol. 4, No. 3 (2009) open journal systems 

Notes on the definition and safeguarding of HUL

Jukka Jokilehto, ICOMOS International

The present paper is a personal reflection on the notion of HUL, Historic Urban Landscape, which originated from an international conference in Vienna in 2005. The concept was then discussed in a series of international and regional meetings under the auspices of UNESCO, aiming at a new international recommendation. The paper attempts to identify some basic references for the recognition of concepts and definitions that could be related to the notion of Historic Urban Landscape. These include international recommendations by UNESCO and charters by ICOMOS, as well as the theory of restoration by Cesare Brandi. It is claimed that the general approach to HUL could be defined in the framework of conservation and restoration. At the same time, it is not proposed to define HUL as another category of heritage. Rather, once recognised certain urban and related rural and natural territory has particular qualities, it would call for a systematic approach, and the use of multiple planning and management tools. A key characteristic of HUL is the definition of the condition of integrity, seen in social-functional, structural-historical, and visual terms. Each of these would be taken as a reference for the definition of appropriate strategies for protection and conservation. Regarding the planning and management system, communication and information management are crucial, including links between the different levels of decision making, from local to national and even supranational. The paper concludes by recalling that the recognition of the Historic Urban Landscape is fundamentally a cultural issue, based on knowledge of our heritage resources, and the critical assessment of associated assets and merits.

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City & Time  ISSN: 1807-7544