Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Student network on technical architecture for historic, coastal towns is launched

In the pipeline for operational activities in Essaouira, Sa´da and Guadalajara (Mexico), a cooperation agreement is being established to ‘officialize’ the exchange of technical architects from the universities of Spain with students working on relevant UNESCO operational projects.

A first experience met with success in July-August 1997 in Essaouira's Medina, where three technical architects from the University of Madrid carried out architectural surveys for two buildings (a Portuguese church and an orphanage) and a socio-economic study on the old Jewish neighbourhood of the Medina. These results are being taken into account by the local authorities charged with the re-development of Essaouira's urban centre.

For the 1998-99 biennium, a formal framework will be given to this activity to facilitate the implementation of the following:

  1. Site surveys and socio-economic studies in Essaouira's Medina, Sa´da's old city and Guadalajara will be carried out by Spanish technical architects from several Spanish universities.
  2. Essaouira, Sa´da and Guadalajara will host the Spanish students during the summer holidays (1998-99), for their field work.
  3. UNESCO will translate and publish, in French and Arabic, the works of the Spanish students for use by the municipalities concerned and will support the exchange of students.
  4. The Spanish universities involved will train Moroccan, Lebanese and Mexican students during a two-month period in 1999.
  5. The Spanish universities, which train technical architects, and UNESCO will promote a student network as an additional tool for the ‘Small Coastal Cities’ project to help eradicate urban inner city problems of exclusion as well as poverty among the population.

The above-mentioned official framework is being prepared in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of Spain to UNESCO and PREMAAT* to facilitate the coordination of all technical universities of architecture in Spain in the context of this project. An evaluation, involving all partners (universities, municipalities and UNESCO), of this first experimental phase will be conducted at the end of 1999.

* Previsiˇn Mutua de Aparejadores y Arquitectos – a project supported by the European Parliament and UNESCO to provide support for technical architects.

Further details on these developments can be obtained from the following units at UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris cedex 15:

Management of Social Transformations (MOST)/CITIES Architecture,
Fax: 33-(0)1 - 45 68 57 24, attn: Brigitte Colin
b.colin@unesco.org

Coastal Regions and Small Islands (CSI) Unit
Fax: 33 (0)1 - 45 68 58 08, attn: Alexei Suzyumov
a.suzyumov@unesco.org

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