Split to Host Organization of World Heritage Cities Conference Next Year

Daniela Rogulj

Split will host the Regional Conference of the Organization of World Heritage Cities of Central and Eastern Europe in October next year, announced the City of Split on June 6, 2019. Split was chosen as the host at the 15th World Congress of OWHC held in Krakow, where Split mayor Andro Krstulović Opara attended to accept the candidacy. 

The City of Split renewed its membership in this organization in 2018 at the initiative of Mayor Krstulović Opara, since the previously active membership, which began in 1993, was interrupted in 2007.

The inevitable issues of this year’s world congress include tourism of cities of world heritage and the need to harmonize national legislation with the UNESCO and OWHC guidelines in order to unify the needs of the local population as well as the relations of the population with the business world and investors. 

Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara pointed to the importance of strengthening cities in Europe by achieving autonomous decision-making and lowering authority from the state and the European Commission to cities, as an increasing number of Europeans live in cities. 

“Particularly sensitive are the cities of cultural heritage that play a special role in this phenomenon of immigration and mobility of the population,” said Krstulović Opara.

As common problems of world heritage cities, the issues that the ancient city centers face regarding the mass of apartments rented through Airbnb and other platforms were highlighted. Difficulties also arise in traffic or inadequate infrastructure that cannot withstand increased numbers.

Split will host the most important historical cities of Central and Eastern Europe as part of the 40th anniversary of the inclusion of Diocletian’s Palace and the old city center on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This and related topics will be proposed by the Split presidency to the Conference.

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