Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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ALULA Tesfay Asfha, Research Student, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science (World Heritage Studies), University of Tsukuba, Japan
Nobuhiro SHIMIZU, Ph.D Candidate, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Japan.

Although urban heritage is acknowledged as a fundamental role player to enhance Ethiopian cities` identities and as a driving force for social and economic development, the urgent demand for basic infrastructures to catch up the growing urban population makes it challenging to successfully integrate heritage and development in practice. As many cities of similar nature in developing world, Mekelle City is challenged in providing quality urban life and protecting urban identity. The UNESCO`s recommendation on Historic Urban Heritage (HUL) approach to heritage management assumes urban areas as layers of development which were added over time. In that case, current development as part of the big evolutionary process cannot be in contrast with heritage. This focuses on including broader urban context beyond the conservation and management of heritage elements singularly. This presentation assesses the built urban heritage actuality and its management in Mekelle City categorized as an object based (isolated sites) and landscape based approach by taking selective examples. The applicability of Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach in the given context will also be discussed. Based on the assessment, recommendations are provided on key issues by extracting potentials, possibilities, problems and risks in actuality of integrating Mekelle City`s built heritage for sustainable urban development .