ROCK cities enlightened about cultural heritage management in Lyon

The last ROCK work shadowing visit.

From 7 to 10 December 2017, Lyon organised its annual Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights). For four nights artists lit up buildings, streets, squares and parks all over the city with over 50 light installations. Millions of visitors gather in Lyon to enjoy the friendly and joyful spirit of the festival. Among them this year, the three ROCK replicator cities (Bologna, Lisbon and Skopje), travelling to Lyon to attend the third and last work-shadowing visit organised in the framework of the project.

For this last visit, ROCK partner cities focused on governance and management of cultural heritage and monitoring and evaluation of cultural heritage through the Observatory of Cultural Heritage.

Since 1998, Lyon’s Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area. As Bruno Delas, project director for the historic site mission put it, this is not a privilege or a first prize, but a responsibility towards the inhabitants and the visitors. To find the balance between the rapidly developing urban area and the protected historic city, Lyon adopted a management plan in 2013. This plan guarantees the place of the historic site in a city in development, while at the same time watching to safeguard the spirit of the place. This mechanism of governance creates conditions for a proper coordination of all heritage stakeholders at local level. 

Through ROCK, Lyon is now entering a new phase in the management of its heritage site: the Observatory of Cultural Heritage will monitor and evaluate in quantitative and qualitative ways the changes in the Old Town, and assess together with the inhabitants and citizens which solutions can be found to strike the fragile balance between preservation and development. 

In Lyon, urban lighting is closely embedded in the whole city scape and is part of the city’s heritage. Participants in the work-shadowing visit had the opportunity to take part in a workshop organised by LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International) in the framework of the Lyon Light Festival Forum, when the organisers of the Fête des Lumières shared their experience and gave a behind-the-scenes look at the event.

Author: Houpert Cecile - EUROCITIES