Davos Declaration and Baukultur
Lithuanian Minister of Culture Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson took part at a Conference of European Ministers of Culture from 20 – 22 January in Davos, Switzerland. Organizations represented at the conference included UNESCO, European Commission, Council of Europe, ICCROM, and Europa Nostra. At the conclusion of the Conference, the Davos Declaration 2018 was adopted by the ministers of culture.
The Davos Declaration, centrepiece of the meeting, elaborates the definition of ‘Baukultur’ as follows: “The whole built environment, including every designed and built asset that is embedded in and relates to the natural environment, is to be understood as a single entity. ‘Baukultur’ encompasses existing buildings, including monuments and other elements of the cultural heritage, as well as the design and construction of contemporary building, infrastructure, public spaces and landscapes.” https://davosdeclaration2018.ch/context/
The definition of ‘Baukultur’ for Europe emphasizes the importance of including concern for high-quality architecture and urban spaces, respect for a natural heritage and rural environments, as well as a need to support the continuation of intangible heritage practices as part of a high-quality Baukultur. It is necessary to provide the necessary capacity building for all those who have an impact on the built environment.
Three central aspects define the overall concept of Baukultur underlying the conference and declaration:
1) The existing construction, including cultural heritage assets, and contemporary creation must be understood as a single entity. The existing construction provides an important Baukultur reference for the future design of our built environment.
2) All activities with an impact on the built environment, from detailed craftsmanship to the planning and execution of infrastructure projects that have an impact on the landscape, are expressions of Baukultur.
3) Baukultur not only refers to the built environment but also to the entire its integral creative processes.