2020 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation - Winners announced
Lai Chi Wo Rural Cultural Landscape of Hong Kong SAR, China and the Sunder Nursery in New Delhi, India wins the inaugural Special Recognition for Sustainable Development
BANGKOK, 16 December 2020 – The innovative revitalization of the Lai Cho Wo Rural Cultural Landscape in Hong Kong SAR, China and the transformative management of the historic Sunder Nursery of New Delhi, India have received the newly introduced Special Recognition for Sustainable Development.
The Sunder Nursery was also recognized as the Award of Excellence in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
A total of seven projects have been acknowledged by an international panel of Jury members in this year’s Awards. The Jury deliberation was carried out in November, conducted fully online for the first time in Awards history. The Jury reviewed 48 entries from nine countries from the Asia-Pacific region.
The Jury applauded the Lai Chi Wo Rural Landscape project for its “pioneering approach to reviving a once-abandoned rural cultural landscape. The project upholds the key dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – in undertaking the holistic rejuvenation of the historic Hakka agricultural settlement using nature-based solutions …Through its multi-pronged strategy, the project transforms notions of heritage practice from its conventional focus on material conservation to encompass living heritage in all its manifestations.”
The Sunder Nursery, winner of two Awards from the 2020 cycle, was awarded the Special Recognition for Sustainable Development for its “transformative impact in turning a barren site into an urban oasis in the heart of New Delhi … it pays equal attention to ecological restoration, thus underscoring the message that heritage conservation is beyond monuments and is only truly sustainable when essential linkages between nature and culture are profoundly understood and nurtured.” The project’s highest level of achievement in the Awards’ conservation category was praised for its “comprehensive renewal of the Sunder Nursery ensemble [that] sets a new bar for heritage restoration and serves as a catalytic model for public-private partnerships in India”.
Other Awardees include:
Award of Distinction
Koothambalam at Guruvayoor Temple, Thrissur, Kerala, India
Award of Merit
Pingyao Diesel Engine Factory, Shanxi, China
Amar Singh College, Srinagar, India
Malabari Hall Building, Seva Sadan Society, Mumbai, India
New Design in Heritage Contexts
Protective Shelter at the Locality 1 Archaeological Site of Zhoukoudian Peking Man Cave World Heritage Site, Beijing, China
“As you know, culture, nature and heritage are embedded across many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As the United Nation’s only agency with a mandate for heritage, UNESCO advocates using heritage as a driver for sustainable development.”
Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO Bangkok
UNESCO introduced the new Special Recognition earlier this year together with an updated set of Awards Criteria to acknowledge more prominently the role and contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable development within the broader of framework of Agenda 2030.
Since 2000, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme have been recognizing the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored, conserved and transformed structures and buildings of heritage value in the region. By acknowledging private efforts to restore and adapt historic properties, the Awards encourage other property owners to undertake conservation projects within their communities, either independently or by seeking public-private partnerships.
Awarded projects reflect a clear understanding and application of various criteria, such as the articulation of the spirit of place, technical achievement, appropriate use or adaption, and the project’s engagement with the local community and its contribution to enhancing the sustainability of the surrounding environment and beyond.
For further information about the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and upcoming events, please see: https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/asia-pacific-heritage-awards
Call for Entries for the 2021 UNESCO Awards will be made in early 2021, and further details will be available on the awards website.
- High-resolution images of 2020 award recipients are available here:
- 2020 winners photos
For Awards-related inquiries, please contact:
Tel.: (66 2) 391-5077 Ext. 511
Fax.: (66 2) 391-0866
Jeremy Clay Walden-Schertz