The Jean-Paul-L’Allier Prize for Heritage


Since its creation in 2009, the Jean-Paul-L’Allier Prize for Heritage has put forward the most current orientations formulated by the international community about the protection of cultural heritage and local communities’ involvement. These guidelines are motivated by the OWHC’s desire to situate the prize within a movement initiated a few years before by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that highlighted the role of communities, designating them as the fifth “C” of the strategic objectives of the World Heritage Convention.

This trend was further reinforced in 2011 through the adoption of the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, which is inspired by local traditions and urban concepts. This recommendation supports local communities in their efforts to develop and adapt, while recommending the preservation of characteristics and values linked to their history and collective memory. The Jean-Paul-L’Allier Prize for Heritage echoes this objective by honouring a project that ensures a sustainable future to a World Heritage property in an urban setting and addresses real issues such as management and conservation of the living character of the property.

In 2016, the Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development underscored the prominent place of culture in the future of world urbanization. It is intended as a contribution from UNESCO to the common UN action towards the New Urban Agenda and is in line with the main entry point for culture in the framework of the 2030 Agenda, under the Sustainable Development Goal on sustainable cities. The OWHC also brought its perspective to this report through a text entitled “Resilient World Heritage Cities and their Communities”, expressing the conviction that communities should be fully involved in the processes of heritage and resilience planning of their city. This latter point is critical in these uncertain times, while every city worldwide is called upon to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the OWHC wishes to expand the Jean-Paul-L’Allier Prize for Heritage’s scope to include as well innovative strategies implemented by World Heritage Cities and their local communities to respond to this unprecedented environmental, economic, and social crisis.

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