International Young Planning Professionals Award (YPPA), 2014

(Open until 15/05/2014)

The Award theme for 2014 is ‘Heritage conservation and sustainable urban development’, being also the theme of the 5th EUSS.

‘Sustainable development’ is often regarded as an over-used and too broad a term to have a clear meaning. Yet it will remain a fundamental principle which has to be adhered to in all areas of urban and regional planning and development. So too in historic areas of towns subject to the more strict regulations of heritage conservation.

In such areas, there are inherent contradictions: heritage conservation and environmental sustainability measures are often derived from different areas of policy, usually under the competence of different local government departments and different ministries. For example, measures on heritage sites to improve the eco-efficiency of buildings will be obliged by strict rules to retain elements of architectural conservation. Fulfilling both sets of rules, if possible, almost always means a far higher and sometimes prohibitive budget.

We have to reconcile such heritage conservation measures with the demands of environmental sustainability. This is both possible and essential:

  • Urban heritage is extremely important in terms of the general attractiveness and therefore quality of townscapes and in economic terms for tourism.
  • Technologies are improving and a lot of experience has been built up in both areas of policy and regulation.
  • There is general civic and therefore political support to retain the heritage in such city areas.

The YPPA entries will be expected to identify contradictions between heritage conservation and sustainability, describe new ideas/methods/processes for the mutual adaptation of heritage conservation and urban sustainability measures, illustrate such contradictions and adaptation measures by at least one project either being implemented or proposed, explain the role of the planner in the project and demonstrate the applicability of the new ideas/methods/processes in a broader urban context.

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