“Architectural conservation is something that embraces not just architecture in all its various forms, but a vast range of other subjects – environmental politics, urban planning, urban economics and tourism, and even war destructions and renewal […] Conservation is, and has always been, an integral part of modern society and its environment, like all the modern environments, did not just happened”.
(Miles Glendinning 2013)
Starting from this concept, the International Conference on “Conservation of Architectural Heritage” (CAH) aims at bringing together academics and professionals who care about heritage from different points of view and share their visions in protecting, preserving, and enhancing cultural heritage for the future.
Architectural and Cultural Heritage is testimony of past societies’ values, and achievements, as well as political, social and economic systems. Such heritage is represented in tangible and intangible forms and at landscape, urban and architectural scales. Across these scales, it also embodies both material and immaterial values and informs current and future societies with invaluable information of their history and identity. Unfortunately, cultural sites are no longer the same as they used to be. They are exposed to losing their authenticity and identity bit by bit due to many decay factors. Also, the different levels of scale and the wide range of chronologies introduce different challenges that academics and professionals respond to in our contemporary time. For example, the concepts of archaeology, history, and identity are not the same between historic and modern heritage sites, which presents an additional challenge to conserve and protect heritage that is not commonly seen as a legacy of the past (e.g. modern heritage). Thus, it is important to advocate the need for equal consideration and in-depth studies for our heritage considering its time, scales and values. In addition, there is unprecedented recognition of culture within the Sustainable Development Goals which is going to play a crucial role. In becoming a fundamental discourse within Sustainability, Cultural Heritage research will employ techniques and methodologies belonging to the Arts and Humanities, Architecture, Restoration and Conservation, and Creative Practices, along with Sciences, Technology and Engineering.
Thus, the conference is not only going to talk about heritage but also about how to preserve it considering the diversity of scales, typologies, uses, periods of construction, and state of conservation, as well as how to link it to the broader topics of sustainability, accessibility and assessment of values. In doing so, the conference is going to start by identifying concepts and topics of cultural heritage and its subtle link with the environment.
The conference has proven its success year by year, and this 8th edition, held in collaboration with the University of Cagliari and the University of Portsmouth, is going to stand out by discussing all the Art and Science of Heritage.