|“Exceptional” aptly describes the X World Congress of the OWHC held in Quito, Ecuador, 8-11 September 2009. The 498 participants from 85 cities and 45 countries had the opportunity to participate in the scientific sessions which focused on the theme “Revitalization of Historic Centers: How to Involve All Social Actors?” The sessions included three keynote presentations by world experts, a panel on the subject of public-private partnerships as well as small group discussions and poster presentations of case studies.
For the third consecutive World Congress, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) with great expertise developed the theme, selected the speakers and chose the various formats in order to give participants the opportunity to engage in lively discussions, to share their experiences and to learn about new developments and strategies for meeting the critical challenges associated with the conservation and management of World Heritage Cities. The third pre-Congress Mayors’ Workshop, organized in collaboration with the GCI, was once again a great success, focusing on the experiences of the host city, with the inclusion of site visits, which served as a catalyst for discussion.
The City of Quito graciously welcomed every one in attendance. The cultural programs, the stunning venues and the attention to detail made the difference. Moreover, the presence of representatives of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, the Council of Europe, ICOMOS and the World Monuments Funds enhanced the Congress. In all aspects Quito will be considered a landmark in the history of OWHC World Congresses.
Sintra, Portugal was elected by the General Assembly to host the XI OWHC World Congress in 2011. The General Assembly also elected the members of the Board of Directors for 2009 – 2011. They are the Mayors of: Beemster, Netherlands (President); Vienna, Austria (Vice-President and Treasurer); Aranjuez, Spain; Kazan, Russian Federation; Lyon, France; Melaka, Malaysia; Puebla, Mexico; and Quito, Ecuador ( all Vice-Presidents). Valparaiso, Chile was elected as the new seat of the Regional Secretariat for Latin America, while the seats of the other Regional Secretariats remain the same.
Opening Ceremony at La Compañia Church