Thursday, May 15, 2014

Report on the 10th Conference of the Central and Eastern European Member Cities of the Organization of World Heritage Cities
Kutná Hora, April 29-May 2, 2014

Enterprise in historical city centers. Business YES! Advertising NO?

Following the meeting of the Board of Directors, the 10th Conference of the Central and Eastern European Region was arranged in the beautiful Czech town, Kutná Hora. It was not the first time that Kutná Hora hosted a regional conference as the 6th meeting of our region in 2006 was co-organized by Budapest and Kutná Hora.

The theme of the conference was:

  • (Private) Enterprise in historical city centers. Business YES! Advertising NO? - Historical towns’ experiences with the regulation of shop signs, billboards, advertising, kiosks and outside terraces.

The first informal meeting of the conference participants (31 people from 16 cities) was at the traditional welcome dinner on the evening of the 29th of April.
Next morning, at the ceremonial opening the conference the participants were greeted by Ivo Šanc, Mayor Kutná Hora, Anna Matouskova, Deputy of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, Denis Ricard, Secretary General of the Organization of World Heritage Cities and Ákos Capdebo, Coordinator of the Central and Eastern European Region.
After the report of the Secretary General and that of the Regional Coordinator, Dr. Katalin Kiss, former Regional Coordinator made a presentation on the children’s exchange program realised between two schools from Budapest and Banská Štiavnica in 2013 with the support of the Loyalty Reward Program.

In the thematic session the participants of the conference discussed about the impact of business on the townscape of World Heritage cities. The result of the discussion can be summarized well by the Kutná Hora Document signed by the delegates of the member cities (extract): 
“Business activity in general is inseparable from the historic town cores. However, business must not have any negative impact on the cultural heritage, neither on the historic townscape. Therefore, historic cities have to elaborate proper regulations to control business in the historic areas with special regard to advertising and to setting up outdoor terraces and kiosks in public areas. Regulations must be strict enough to safeguard the cultural heritage but overregulation must be avoided. Member cities of the Central and Eastern European Region of the OWHC cooperate in the field of improving building regulations to utilize one another’s experiences.”

Congratulations for the perfect organisation to the host city, Kutná Hora and thanks also to the participating cities:

  • Banská Štiavnica
  • Bardejov
  • Berat
  • Budapest
  • Český Krumlov
  • Istanbul
  • Krakow
  • Kutná Hora
  • Nessebar
  • Prague
  • Rhodes
  • Riga
  • Telč
  • Třebíč
  • Vienna
  • Warsaw