Cultural Heritage as the Driving Force for Communities Social and Economic Development
On November 25–27, the international conference entitled “Cultural Heritage as the Driving Force for Communities Social and Economic Development” was held in the town of Zhovkva, Lviv Region. The conference was organized by the Ukrainian Centerfor Cultural Studies in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and COMUS project.
COMUS (Community-led Urban Strategies in Historic Towns) is a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Commission which makes a part of the EU action plan for Ukraine.
The project aims to provide assistance to the national government as well as local authorities in strategic revitalization and sustainable social and economic development of small and medium-sized historic sites together with the adjoining areas. This objective is to be achieved through historic heritage objects revival and their adaptation to current needs and demands, rehabilitation of the traditional urban-planning environment, simultaneously widening the range of its constructive usage options.
Ukraine has been chosen as a project participant together with Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Three Ukrainian towns (Lutsk, Zhovkva and Pryluky), renowned for their cultural heritage, were selected to be COMUS project pilot towns in Ukraine.
The representatives of the above towns came to Zhovkva to participate in the conference where they discussed various aspects of their work, took part in the workshops and developed draft proposals. The guests received a warm welcome from Zhovkva project implementation unit: Petro Vykhopen, Town Mayor; Mykhailo Kubai, Project Coordinator, Deputy Director in charge of research and restoration, Zhovkva State Historic and Cultural Preserve; Roman Shchur, Architect, Deputy Mayor in charge of construction and land matters. Ihor Panchyshyn, Head of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department, Ivano-Frankivsk City Administration, also joined in the work of the PIU.
The event was initiated by theU krainian Center for Cultural Studies (Oleksandr Butsenko, Director, Valentyna Demian, Academic Secretary) and supported by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. COMUS project main objectives and phases were outlined by Oleksandr Butsenko, national project coordinator, and Philip Stein, Council of Europe leading expert. Workshops conducted by Philip Stein became one of the highlights of the meeting as the participants got an excellent opportunity to discuss challenges they face and suggest all possible solutions, both standard and out-of-the-box.
The PIU from Pryluky included Tetiana Fesenko, Pryluky Deputy Mayor in charge of humanitarian issues; Kateryna Movchan, Head of the City Council Culture and Tourism Department; Tetiana Zots, Director of the Maslov Pryluky Local Lore Museum.
Lutsk was represented by Tetiana Gnativ, Head of the Culture Department of Lutsk City Council; Leonid Herasymiuk, Lutsk Chief Architect, Head of the Urban Planning and Architecture Department; Petro Tronevych, Head of the Cultural Heritage Protection Unit, the Culture Department of Lutsk City Council; Vasyl Herasymiuk, Architect; Alla Gnatiuk, Head of the Swedish Language Centre, senior lecturer of Foreign Languages Department for Natural Sciences and Mathematics Majors (Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University — LUEENU Lutsk, Ukraine), Tetyana Vetskur, senior lecturer of the Department of Socio-Economic Disciplines and Humanities (Volyn Institute for Economics and Management).
Following the conference, the project implementation units from the pilot towns were given tasks for the next several months to ensure COMUS project success in Ukraine. There are several more working meetings to come scheduled under the project in the cities of Lutsk, Pryluky and Zhovkva.
the Head of the Swedish Language Centre, senior lecturer of Foreign Languages Department for Natural Sciences and Mathematics Majors
Translation: Tetyana VETSKUR,
senior lecturer of the Department of Socio-Economic Disciplines and Humanities, Volyn Institute for Economics and Management