Leuven, Belgium – January 23-25, 2013. Donovan Rypkema presented at a symposium on Preventive Conservation, Maintenance and Monitoring of Monuments and Sites. The event was hosted by the Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation and the University of Leuven.
Barcelona, Spain – October 8-10, 2012. Donovan Rypkema attended the sixth Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium organized by the World Bank. Rypkema participated in a book release event for The Economics of Uniqueness: Investing in City Cores and Cultural Assets for Sustainable Development, which includes chapters from academics and practitioners around the world.
Muscat, Oman – October 1-3, 2012. Donovan Rypkema presented on the economic benefits of heritage in a Symposium on Preserving Local Traditional Urban Character. The symposium, convened by the Ministry of Housing of the Sultanate of Oman, brought together specialists from the Middle East and around the world to address vision, policy, and design issues in preserving and maintaining local architectural identity.
Naples, Italy – September 1-7, 2012. HSI sponsored a booth at the World Urban Forum (WUF), which focused on The Urban Future. WUF is the biennial conference organized by UN-Habitat and the world’s premier multilateral assemblage examining urban issues.
Oslo, Norway – April 11-12, 2012, HSI participated in a workshop/symposium on “Harnessing the Hidden Potential of Cities: How Can Cultural Heritage Investments Support Inclusive Urban Development?” The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (Niku) hosted the workshop on behalf of the World Bank. Donovan Rypkema joined World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte, Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim, and Jolyon Leslie, former director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, on a panel plenary discussion.
Washington, DC – In March 2012, Donovan Rypkema attended the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network Week symposium in Washington, DC.
Geneva, Switzerland - February 21-24, 2012, Donovan Rypkema attended a meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission of Europe focused on PPPs.
Wrocław, Poland - October 10-12, 2011, more than 200 heritage professionals convened for the fourth annual European Heritage Days Forum. Sponsored by the Council of Europe and the European Union, the theme was “Value the Heritage! European Heritage and Economic Development.” Donovan Rypkema led a Forum session on the economic potential of heritage beyond tourism. See his speech here.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands - From June 13 to July 1, 2011, the Institute for Housing and Urban Development and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands conducted an intensive training program for heritage professionals from eight countries. The course aimed to build the capacity of its participants to formulate and implement strategies for heritage in cities with its focus on urban heritage in inner-city locations. Donovan Rypkema of HSI led workshops on “The Economic Value of the Inner City” “The American Experience in Heritage Conservation” and “The Main Street Approach to Center City Revitalization.” More information can be found here.
Washington, DC – On May 2-3, 2011, the World Bank hosted the “Economics of Uniqueness: Cultural Heritage Assets and Historic Cities as Public Goods.” The symposium was part of the Urbanization Knowledge Platform, a collaborative partnership that aims to become a ‘go to’ hub for knowledge on how to manage our rural-to-urban transition. This hub will include various avenues for exchanging knowledge between practitioners, researches, policy makers and academics. The symposium featured speeches by representatives from the World Bank, InterAmerican Development Bank, University of Pennsylvania, UNESCO, Heritage Strategies International and other non-governmental, academic and professional institutions. All proceedings from the symposium are available online.
Geneva, Switzerland – UNECE Team of Specialists on PPP meets April 18-19, 2011
Donovan Rypkema, president of Heritage Strategies International, recently returned from attending the annual meeting of the Team of Specialists of the Public-Private Partnership unit of the UN Economic Commission for Europe. The 2-day conference was held at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva. The meeting aimed to present both best practice suggestions and guidelines for infrastructure PPPs, which can often be complex and intricate.
The first part of the meeting saw the election of officers for the ToS’ executive body, the Bureau. Mr. Jan van Schoonhoven, Director of the PPP unit within the Dutch Transport Ministry, was elected Chairman and furthermore experts from various UNECE member states with long-standing relationships with the Team were elected as Bureau members.
The high-level opening panel consisted of various delegates presenting best-practice models of PPP in their nations for various types of infrastructure projects, like health, water management and railways.
In the afternoon, the work on the ‘UNECE PPP toolkit’ was presented. The Toolkit, composed of a number of manuals, guidebooks, assessment tools etc, is still under development, but will aim to mainline and simplify PPP frameworks. Also, the delegates discussed the possibility and details to setting up an International PPP Centre of Excellence, jointly with opening sector-specific PPP Specialist Centers in nations that have a need for PPP in a certain infrastructure sector. A number of governments have expressed interest in hosting one such centre.
The second day of the conference included further explanations of how the Centres of Excellence would operate and establishing the implementation agenda for the next two years. Rypkema was in Geneva as a member of the Team of Specialists and as a member of the US delegation. Chairing the US delegation was Art Smith, president of Management Analysis Incorporated. Smith is also Chairman of the US National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.
Ghent, Belgium – On November 24, 2010 Donovan Rypkema was the keynote speaker in Ghent, Belgium at the meeting of Portico — a network of European cities promoting heritage conservation, archeology, and urban development. The video of this event has recently been posted and is available on our website here. A transcript of the speech can also be found on Portico’s website.
Bucharest, Romania – HSI participated in the UNDP-sponsored forum, “The Economics of Heritage Regeneration,” in Bucharest, Romania hosted by the UNDP’s Beautiful Romania project. The symposium, which took place October 25-26, 2010, featured conservation experts from Romanian government, non-profit organizations and conservation specialists, as well as other experts from around the world. Donovan Rypkema gave an opening speech and chaired several sessions. Following the session, HSI and Beautiful Romania visited the nearby historic towns of Sibiu and Alba Iulia.
Heritage, Democracy and Development in Libya
A short article from the Brookings Institution proposes a new path forward for Libyans: unity based on natural and cultural heritage. It offers a long list of recommendations, including the inclusion of heritage conservation in the new constitution, stronger legal protection and coordinated heritage management systems, a public awareness campaign for Libyans, and development of heritage tourism. The stakes are high: “Libya is at a crossroad. It might dissemble into warring factions and economic collapse or it might become a nation with freedom and a good life for its people. Libya’s roots and economic future are in its culture and the natural world, and it should embrace that heritage now to prosper.”
Surprise ‘Global’ Award from Urban Land Institute
The ULI presented the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development to the Aga Khan, the leader of Ismaili Muslims and founder of the Aga Khan Development Network. The AKDN supports entrepreneurs, rural development, health, education, medicine, strengthening civil society, planning, and building. The awarding jury praised the Aga Khan’s “remarkable record in furthering quality design and physical development, with great sensitivity to communities’ unique histories and cultures… Stewardship of the built environment — quality architecture combined with respect for local history and tradition — has been a major focus of the Aga Khan’s activities for decades. The work’s been essential in the Muslim world, where the historic cores of many cities have deteriorated seriously over time. An example is provided by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which worked to restore a noted historic monument that draws many tourists — the 900-year old Altit Fort in Hunza, Pakistan. But there was a problem: residents had been abandoning traditional housing in the village and building new houses on valuable arable land. So the trust financed a water filtration system to draw people back to the traditional settlement.”