The notable 25th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Centre of Prague on the UNESCO World Heritage List will be celebrated by the City of Prague this year by organizing a two-day international conference Prague – World Heritage City 2017, which will take place on 6 - 7 December 2017 in the New Building of the National Museum in the centre of Prague. The conference is designed particularly for experts, representatives of professional organizations and universities, and especially representatives of the UNESCO cities in the Czech Republic and Europe, inter alia cities planning to apply jointly for inscription on the European Heritage Label list with a collective heritage called Werkbund Housing Network in 2019. The programme of the conference will aim to give participants space to share their experiences with life in cities whose historical areas are subject to heritage protection. The structure of the programme will focus on the presentation of a broad scope of the UNESCO World Heritage sites care in the past 25 years, as well as on further on perspectives and ideas about future forms of ensuring the preservation of the outstanding universal values of the historic centre of Prague as a UNESCO site. Expert conference contributions of Czech and foreign experts and an open discussion platform should evaluate the current standard of the Prague Heritage Reservation care, describe the current situation, gather ideas for a possible transformation, and indicate potential limits and possibilities for future development of this issue in the context of the City of Prague administration.

The international conference is being prepared in conjunction with e.g. the National Heritage Institute, National Museum, Prague Institute of Planning and Development, and the Czech Technical University. The programme will be divided into three theme sections: Section 1, “Monuments and People,” should be devoted to the issue of heritage care as a tool of state administration for preservation of architectural and urban cultural values, its development in the Czech Republic in the post-revolution years, comparison of approaches to protection of monuments in various municipalities listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and presentation of approaches to the monuments care in the UNESCO sites in other European countries. Section 2, “Ways to Revitalize Public Space,” should deal with examples of good practice from abroad and regions of the Czech Republic, successful communication campaigns, culture in public space and positive examples of public space revitalization. Section 3, “Vision and Future,” focusing on a potential development of activities in the Prague Heritage Reservation and its buffer zone, will be organized in cooperation with the Czech Technical University and representatives of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development.

The primary conference programme will be complemented by a number of accompanying events, e.g. opening social evening with a concert, publishing of an expert book, open air exhibition in the Wenceslas Square dedicated to building transformations of the capital's centre in the past decades or a small exhibition about the history of the New Building of the National Museum where the conference will take place.

The conclusions of this event should help formulate the answers to many burning questions that many historical cities in the Czech Republic and the world are currently running up against, e.g.: How to deal with the growing onslaught of tourists in high-profile locations? How to prevent the depopulation of city centres? How to effectively support the development of infrastructure without endangering the heritage fund? We are convinced that the output of expert discussions on these topics can assist the administrators of urban heritage reservations in the future in solving partial problems within the demanding and complex issue of care for historical sites listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. At the same time, it offers the possibility of positive confrontation with examples from abroad that may contribute to deepening of experience in care for world heritage sites and give insights into this phenomenon from a new perspective.

If you would be interested in attending the conference, please, let us know and contact our organizational team (e-mail: tomas.krasny@blueevents.eu).