The Heritage for Development Programme of the AECID and the Ministry of Housing organized the 7th Meeting on the Management of Historic Centres from 27 to 30 July, at the training centre in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Meeting under the title “Urban Rehabilitation and Law in the City: the Challenge of Social Equity”, representatives of over 20 countries, mostly Latin American, presented innovative experiences in urban rehabilitation linked to social cohesion. RehabiMed took part on two counts: with presentations of the heritage and social challenges of the pilot operation in Marrakech and of the urban rehabilitation and revitalization programme being carried out by GTZ in Aleppo, Syria.
Faissal Cherradi, Director General of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture and member of RehabiMed, presented an overview of “residential recuperation”. He based his talk on an analysis of the weak spots in the residential sector in the medinas throughout the Maghreb, talking Marrakech as an example. RehabiMed’s intervention in Marrakech marks a turning point in the country’s rehabilitation policies and demonstrates the possibility of preserving heritage values and improving the living conditions of the people who live in these buildings. Rehabilitation with and for the residents is one of the basic pillars supporting a joint approach to rehabilitation and social equity. Cherradi reinforced this idea and showed how the three traditional houses rehabilitated in the Medina have created a new line of rehabilitation policies in Morocco.
Kamal Bittar, Assistant Director of the Urban Development and Rehabilitation Project for the city of Aleppo and RehabiMed collaborator, presented the overall project being implemented in the historic centre of Aleppo and its objectives, including the project to restore Bab Antakya, in which RehabiMed is also involved. This more technical presentation, based on the preliminary studies required for decision-making, exemplified the utility of the RhM Method, in which systematization, analysis and rigour are inherent conditions in the complexity of any project.