Orientation Workshop: Cultural Heritage and urban Transformation

Thursday, 16.11.2023 to Saturday, 18.11.2023

Contributing to better understanding and articulation of inclusive societies through cultural heritage

Heritage value and associated cultural urban change is increasingly gaining importance due to the various benefit and added value it can yield in a city development setting such as the economic added value it provides in the scene of sustainable development of cities. Cultural heritage and correspondent urban change and urban transformation are signposts towards achieving aims such as more sustainable and inclusive societies, social equity and cohesion and a stronger economic performance and higher quality of life (EU, 2019). Crosscutting aspects are shown on various levels, where positive urban transformation can take place once culture and cultural change are considered and given the needed focus. 

Cultural Heritage in this sense is perceived as an anchor to develop a better understanding and valuation of the own assets in a city or region whether architectural, cultural, or social. Hence, developing a more sense of belonging and ownership by the local community or other actors in the setting and therewith, a development of better projected economic status through seizing the local assets on physical as well as cultural levels and bringing them to interact and correspond to sustainable strategic thinking in city and regional development. Urban Change as an outcome will be molded and developed based on learning from innovative practices based on mixed urban developments on one side and leading development through culture-led strategies and examples.

The main goal of this collaborative project is to enable and establish an exchange between researchers in the field of urban studies and Heritage studies from Jordan and the Middle East with Germany, to discuss following questions: 1. How can the collaboration prepare the cities and institutions to seize and develop their heritage structures and networks on tangible and intangible levels? 2. What can be learned from historical experiences in Germany and elsewhere? 3. How can educational institutions be part of the development in cities and regions in the Middle East?
This perspective proves its relevance in planning inclusive societies as through linking heritage aspects with changing cultural and societal norms, more integrative solutions and positive impact of development can be envisioned. It also gains more importance with the new status of the RWTH Aachen – Chair and Institute for Urban Design as a recent holder of a UNESCO Chair, as it can officially set the lines to interlink and triangulate the notions within urban experiences.  To tackle these points and articulate the crosscutting fields of interest, four levels of intervention are considered in this planned proposal application:

  1. An interactive scientific platform with multi-dimensional exchange that enable learning from best practices and knowledge transfer and enable a future network of partners that can set forth for further future collaborations through UNESCO Symposium International – please see Link:
  2. Establishing a line of exchange of different stakeholders including students, young research, and professors as well as high administration of the universities to concretize the development of the long-term cooperation.
  3. Drafting an MOU as the starting point of this collaboration to enable the opportunity to exchange and develop curricula in the stream of development of cultural heritage - please see Program attached.

This Workshop is part of the TA’ZIZ Program "Cultural Heritage and Urban Transformation" and is therefore a DAAD Funded Cooperation Project.