Links with Edinburgh World Heritage
The Edinburgh-Vilnius connection through heritage-led revitalisation already has a long history. In 1995 – 1996, shortly after the inscription of Vilnius on the World Heritage list, a group of international professionals supported the development of Vilnius Old Town Revitalisation Strategy. Amongst them were representatives of the Edinburgh Old Town Renewal Trust – one of Edinburgh World Heritage’s predecessors. Since then Vilnius has developed solid foundations for heritage-led urban revitalisation using public-private partnerships. The model has gradually developed, attracting private investment into dilapidated buildings and public spaces of the Old Town. It is quite easy to draw similarities with Edinburgh, from the 1970s onwards. OTRA’s grant system is quite similar to EWH’s Conservation Funding Programme.
During 1999-2000 Kirsteen Thomson (former director of the Edinburgh Old Town Renewal Trust) worked as a consultant for UNESCO/WHC – UN/UNDP Technical Assistance programme in Vilnius. Mrs. Thomson helped to prepare the Investors’ Guidelines and Conservation Guidelines for Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency.
On 13-16th May 2015, Krzysztof Chuchra (International Programme Project Manager) and Fiona Rankin (World Heritage Site Project Manager) from EWH attended the REDIAPRO partnership meeting in Vilnius and have met with Gediminas Rutkauskas, the director of Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency.