Press Release / March 7, 2013

Internationally recognized speakers to headline SCAD-co-hosted symposium

/SCAD is set to host preservationists, urban planners, architects and others during the 16th Annual US/ICOMOS International Symposium May 1-4./


Francesco Bandarin, assistant director-general for culture at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, and Paul Farmer, chief executive officer of the American Planning Association, are slated as featured speakers for the 16th Annual US/ICOMOS International Symposium May 1-4, in historic downtown Savannah.

The symposium's theme is "The Historic Center and the Next City: Envisioning Urban Heritage Evolution," and the planned lineup features international experts discussing historic cities and management of cities' social and physical changes, conservation of historic values, and how today's cities can inspire cities of the future.

The event is co-hosted by the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, US/ICOMOS, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, an internationally recognized leader in adaptive rehabilitation and urban revitalization with locations in the United States, France, Hong Kong and online via SCAD eLearning.

As UNESCO's assistant director-general for culture, Bandarin provides advocacy and assistance that helps safeguard cultural heritage treasures worldwide. He is a specialist in architecture and urban planning, having worked in both public and private institutions in the fields of built heritage, cultural heritage conservation, environmental heritage and cultural events, and architectural and urban design in developing countries. Bandarin has been actively involved in the Venice Safeguarding Project and was involved in the preparation of Rome for the Year 2000 Jubilee. In his previous position as director of the World Heritage Centre, Bandarin promoted the revision of the UNESCO recommendation on historic cities.

Farmer is a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a recipient of the Design Excellence Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has broad experience consulting in North America, Asia and Europe, and has lectured and written extensively. Farmer will discuss his experience and perspective on heritage as an underlying narrative that is fortified by planning in the ongoing process of city building.

In addition to the event's featured speakers, roundtables and lectures will focus on preservation success stories and challenges from historic communities worldwide. These sessions will be complemented by field study, tours and events highlighting Savannah's many imaginative preservation efforts and remarkable renaissance.

"The Savannah College of Art and Design is pleased to host preservationists, urban planners, architects and other stewards of our cultural heritage for this important and timely discussion," said Jeffrey Eley, chair of the SCAD historic preservation department. "Savannah's layered histories, exquisite architecture and influential city plan provide a perfect setting to address this symposium's questions. SCAD is an ideal host as a university woven into the fabric of one of the largest and most renowned National Historic Landmark districts in the United States. Our students, professors and alumni look forward to further advancing the research and appreciation for our nation's historic urban centers."

Since its founding in 1978, SCAD has revitalized more than 100 buildings around the world, creating inspiring communities for the study of art and design. In the United States, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Institute of Architects, and the International Downtown Association, among others, have lauded SCAD for its efforts.

Internationally, the 2011 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Conservation recognized SCAD for its revitalization of the former North Kowloon Magistracy Building in Hong Kong. The university recently completed its latest revitalization project in Lacoste, France, with the transformation of La Maison Basse, a centuries-old site that housed the former carriage house of the infamous Marquis de Sade.

Additional information and event registration is available online at usicomos.org/symposium.

Media inquiries may be directed to Sunny Nelson via email or by calling 912.525.5225.

International Council on Monuments and Sites

The International Council on Monuments and Sites works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organization of this kind dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. Its work is based on the principles enshrined in the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (the Venice Charter).

The U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, US/ICOMOS, is one of numerous national committees forming a worldwide alliance for the study and conservation of historic buildings, districts and sites. It is the focus of international cultural resources exchange in the United States, working to share preservation information and expertise worldwide. It also highlights and interprets the unique American preservation system: the partnership between private organizations and federal, state and local governments, and the cooperation between the academic community, professionals and civic volunteers.

SCAD: The University for Creative Careers

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors.

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