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THE POTENTIAL OF HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT AS A PLANNING TOOL FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF URBAN HERITAGE. THE CASE STUDY OF BUKHARA, UZBEKISTAN

Authors:
  • International Center for Central Asian Studies (IICAS)

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In recent years the cases of massive large-scale developments, urban renewal and infrastructural activities threatening World Heritage properties have become more frequent. The Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessment for Cultural World Heritage Properties published in 2011 by ICOMOS offered a consistent, well-balanced way to evaluate the threats and mitigate them with reference to the properties‘ Outstanding Universal Value, integrity and authenticity. In spite of considerable international experience, HIA has been mostly perceived as re-active tool to evaluate the impact of development projects, while its potential to be integrated into urban planning processes was largely underestimated. The research was aimed to test HIA as a preventive planning tool for preservation and consistent development of historic urban heritage with special focus on the case of the World Heritage property of the Historic Center of Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Thus the research question was determined as follows: What is the potential of Heritage Impact Assessment to be used as a planning tool for sustainable management of urban heritage within the context of urban development in Uzbekistan? To have the research question answered, a detailed desk study, including the review of international publications, HIA reports and research papers was completed along with a field mission to the Historic Center of Bukhara. The outcomes of the research clearly show significant potential behind further use of HIA as a planning tool. The analysis showed that in spite of challenges associated with potential conflict of interest, unexpected regulatory changes, lack of stakeholders buy-in and low awareness on the application, outcomes and benefits of HIA, there are good chances to use HIA to build a sustainable heritage management system improve planning policies and strengthen coordination between stakeholders.
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