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HERITAGE RISK IN ETHIOPIAN HISTORICAL CITIES [Abstract ID: 0214-05]
The standard pattern of a historical city is that historical sites and relics concentrate in the central district. In many cases, the urban core is the place where the initial stage of urban settlement started as well as an area where various types of mansions and houses are dotted as the very place for daily life of citizens. In the case of historic cities of Ethiopia, the destiny of historical districts is still uncertain or even tragic. To maintain the level of historicity, not only public attention but also good financial system and well-established governance are fundamentally needed. However, in general, the priority is naturally given to the infrastructure and housing that would satisfy the minimum requirement of basic human life within a city and does not coincide with cultural and spiritual value. In other words, historical monuments or cultural property is the last and far-away existence that is reserved only with rare probability of realization and thus the precious historical centers are being replaced by completely different townscapes. This paper addresses the “heritage risk” in three historical Ethiopian cities, Harar, Gondar, and Mekelle, by clarifying the vulnerability related to lived-in heritage in a socio-spatial context.