12 C O N T E X T 1 5 7 : N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 JUKKA JOKILEHTO Concerning heritage Heritage is no more a matter for elites, but a requirement for the life and survival of society. We need to communicate and negotiate with new interests and new ways of learning. The modern recognition of heritage significance in human and natural resources has been subject to continuous evolution over the past two centu- ries. The romantic nostalgia of the 19th century resulted in two reactions. One was the revival of past styles, either medieval and classicist, and the restoration or reconstruction of existing historic buildings in the style of a favoured period. The other approach was based on the rec- ognition of genuine documentary evidence of human creativity over time, therefore proposing to maintain and reveal the existing historical layers. In the early 20th century the tendency was to find a reasonable balance between the two extremes, suggesting maintaining significant parts of a historic structure, and avoiding pas- tiche or imitation in the new sections required, as was stated in the international conference of Athens in 1931. In the 19th century various countries also started identifying natural areas to be protected as national parks. After the second world war, it was understood that the previous approaches to the conservation of cultural heritage were often not applicable when dealing with the clearance and recon- struction of war-destroyed cities. There was a new interest in understanding the overall urban or rural context of historic buildings. In 1960 in Italy, this was promoted in a national expert meeting in Gubbio, which stressed the importance of the role of the local authority in guaranteeing the conservative rehabilitation of historic quarters ( centristorici ). In 1962 the French Minister André Malraux gave his name to a new law for the establishment of protected areas (secteurs sauvegardés) as the responsibility of the national authority. Also in the 1960s the UK passed legislation to establish conservation areas, which implied the recognition of ‘group value’ to buildings not found to have special historic or architectural values, but which were an integral part of the townscape. It also stressed the involvement of local property owners. With the strengthening of international eco- nomics, the strategic planning of urbanised territories tended to be based on financial and trading priorities. Protected buildings often remained as individual architectural landmarks within a newly developing context. The 1970s, however, also became a paradigm in the develop- ment of a new methodology in integrated urban conservation, recognised by the Council of Europe during the 1975 European Architectural Heritage Year. In 1976, Unesco adopted an international recommendation concerning the safeguarding and contemporary role of historic areas, stressing that every historic area within its surroundings should be considered in its integ- rity, maintaining its balance and specific nature. From the 1990s, the previous tendency to consider nature and culture as separate items also started to change. It was recognised that healthy ecosystems of nature were an essential guarantee for quality of life of human society. Protection alone was not sufficient if not properly integrated within territorial planning and management The church of San Francesco in Gubbio, Italy. In 1960 the city was the location of a national expert meeting which stressed the importance of the role of the local authority in guaranteeing the conservative rehabilitation of historic quarters (Photo: Sailco, Wikimedia Commons)