14.11.2014 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

The Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia and UNESCO have Collaborated to hold Training for the Conservation and Adaptive Re-use of Urban Heritage in Indonesia, 10 - 13 November 2014

PRESS INFORMATION - The Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of the Republic of Indonesia and UNESCO have collaborated to hold training for the conservation and adaptive re-use of urban heritage in Indonesia from 10 - 13 November 2014, in Kota Tua, Jakarta. The training brought together over 30 participants from all over Indonesia involved in urban heritage projects and had the objective of giving training in best case conservation and adaptation of urban heritage sites.

Indonesia is home to many diverse and multilayered urban heritage places, a reflection of the vibrant multiculturalism of the Nation.  There are many opportunities for urban heritage conservation in Indonesia that can bring sustainable benefits to many different people.  However, urban heritage in Indonesia, like many places in Asia and the wider world, faces a significant risk of rapid change through uncontrolled development, abandoned and poorly conserved buildings, and a lack of understanding and awareness about potential adaptive re-use. 

To address these challenges, the Ministry of Education and Culture and UNESCO brought together over 30 participants from heritage cities from all over Indonesia, to undertake in-depth training. The training was facilitated by experts from the Indonesia Architects Association (Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia), the Centre for Indonesian Architectural Documentation (Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur Indonesia) and AusHeritage (Australia's cultural heritage services resource network in the Asia region). 

The training, delivered over three days, included a mix of workshop style interactive lectures, where participants learnt techniques and principles for the best practice adaptive re-use of heritage buildings. The training focused on the development of methods to asses a building’s significance (ie. the heritage values of the place), developing Conservation Management Plans for heritage sites (based on the identified significance), as well as on Heritage Impact Assessment methodology (ie. how to assess proposed changes to a building and potential impact on their significance). 

This theory was then put in to practice on the second day and third days of the workshop, where participants split into three groups to work on three heritage sites in Kota Tua (Historia Café, Dasaad Musim Concern, and Jasindo buildings). The objective of day two of the training was to assess the significance of these sites, develop a statement of significance, and then give recommendations of appropriate changes/adaptive re-use use of the sites based on their significance. The participants presented their results on day two of the workshop.

The third day the participants were given two different scenarios for proposed adaptive re-use of the heritage building (such as the creation of a boutique hotel), that they then needed to assess against the buildings significance, and how to manage change in the building whilst respecting the heritage values of the place. Again the participants developed recommendations based on the scenarios’ and reported their results back to the experts and fellow participants. 

The training also included the use of the new urban heritage information kit that has been developed by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and Culture, in partnership with AusHeritage, the Indonesian Architect Association, and the Centre for Architectural Documentation.  This information kit itself gives short, practical and useful information to gain access to heritage resources and support, materials, and basic conservation technique.  The conservation principles presented in the information kit are applicable to culturally significant places across Indonesia and will assist in retaining their unique identity and managing change.

Reflecting on the importance of the event, Dr. Harry Widianto, Director of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage Conservation and Museums, Ministry of Education and Culture, outlined that “We can see that in many ways urban heritage is the ‘crossroads of public utilization and conservation’, with many opportunities for community engagement in the conservation process. This is why this training that focuses on adaptive-use is so important in giving methods and techniques to ensure that significant heritage is safeguarded, whilst generating new opportunities for public utilization and engaging new generations in the conservation process. “

Mr. Bernards Alens Zako, Head of Culture Unit, UNESCO Office Jakarta, further added that “Through this collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture, over 30 heritage professionals from throughout Indonesia will gain training in heritage conservation, particularly the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings.  We are confident that after this training the participants will be well placed to help unlock the potential and safeguard urban heritage in their own cities.” 

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