HCMC conference to harmonize heritage preservation with economic development

09:10 | 05/09/2019 Society

(VEN) - A two-day (September 10-11) conference in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) will focus on several advantages of preserving a nation’s rich architectural past, organizers said Tuesday.

The Heritage Preservation and Economic Development conference is organized by the Consulate General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM).

It will seek to build on the success of the first event, the organizers said.

Heritage Preservation & Economic Development (HPED) is a Pan-Asian initiative of the SCE Project Asia, undertaken in collaboration with IUAV University of Venice and Venice Architectural Association. It is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the HCM City People’s Committee and the UNESCO.

Following its official launch in Hanoi in March 2019, the HPED conference will continue to bring insightful knowledge of heritage preservation from numerous experts to the public in HCMC, organizers said.

The events aim to raise awareness of the importance of preserving a nation’s architectural past while reusing existing building stock. This would be a very effective approach for future urban development, offering many competitive advantages, including: preserving and enhancing the local cultural and social identity of a community; contributing to a reduction in transportation and infrastructural costs; easing urban smart city management; making positive contributions to overall energy efficiency; creating jobs and launching new economic activities; and supporting and enhancing sustainable tourism development.

HPED events are structured in three different but coordinated formats.

A design workshop at the University of Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City, a part of conference, will be open to students and consist of an urban design exercise on a crucial preservation issue in the host city.

Another important part of the event will be a technical seminar that will gather several local and international experts to share experiences, techniques and technologies to make heritage preservation accessible to local construction industry stakeholders like local institutions, architects, engineers, students of technical faculties and contractors.

The conference will also have a business seminar on strategic investments in heritage preservation dedicated to local institutions and real estate developers, where experts will illustrate tangible and intangible advantages for those who invest in heritage projects.

The lineup of speakers at the conference will include key collaborative partners, as well as other top international educators, researchers and practitioners including Dante Brandi, the Italian Consul General in HCMC; Michael Croft, country representative of UNESCO Vietnam; Luigi Campanale, Project Director Asia (Architect) and CEO of SCE Asia; Michele D’Ercole, Chairman of ICHAM; and Luigi Croce, director of the postgraduate program in Conservation and Cultural Sustainability, IUAV University of Venice, Italy.

Earlier HPED events have been successfully held in Yangon (Myanmar) and Hanoi (Vietnam). After the conference in HCMC, the event will move to Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur in October 2019. SCE Project Asia and VAA plan to take this initiative to other major cities like Jakarta, Singapore and Tokyo.

My Phung