Barbados has formally joined a Regional Technical Cooperation Programme of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – the Living Heritage Programme.
During a virtual workshop to launch the Living Heritage Programme in Speightstown, it was noted that in July of this year, Barbados became the sixth country to join the programme, which started two and half years ago.
IDB’s Country Representative in Barbados, Juan Carlos De La Hoz Viñas, in explaining why Barbados, specifically Speightstown, was chosen stated: “A year ago when I heard about the Technical Cooperation, I knew that I would need to do all in my power to include Speightstown, because of its heritage cultural identity and the potential for economic growth for tourism diversification.”
Mr. Viñas pointed out that the Technical Cooperation Living Heritage Programme which “resonates very deeply” with him, is a cultural programme that seeks to preserve, conserve and foster sustainable urban rehabilitation for the cities that are selected under the programme.
IDB’s Lead Housing and Urban Development Specialist, Robin Rajack, said the programme is a “set of cultural and natural assets that represent the history, traditions and identity of a territory that are recognised for their symbolic and identity values, either institutionally or by the valuation and appropriation of their own inhabitants.
“As a basic principle, we propose that protecting and enhancing an urban area’s living heritage has the ability to contribute to the collective construction of this area’s sustainable, resilient and equitable future.”
Participants in the workshop received information on the three phases to determine the future of the Speightstown project. Phase one is Local Action Framework, which will assess the city’s profile and develop work and communications plans.
Challenges and Opportunities will be phase two, which will involve the collection of information via interviews and field visits, and a shared vision for the project will be developed.
The last phase will be the implementation of the Strategy and Investment aspect of the project.