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  • Connecting and attention for modesty

    On the 6th of November, the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture were presented to their winners in the beautifully lit Jahili Fort in the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately no winner from the African continent, although some of the projects in the final round were from Africa. Nevertheless the winning projects can give inspiration to all architects, also from the African continent. Read the review by Berend van der Lans at ArchiNed (in Dutch). #Architecture #Event

  • Stadsherstel presents Hifadhi Zanzibar

    During a lecture on Tuesday 25 October as part of the 60th Anniversary of Stadsherstel Amsterdam, the international activities of Stadsherstel will be in focus. Paul Morel will expand on the interest from abroad in Stadsherstel’s approach that combines private investment and interest with the public goal of using heritage as a driver for development. If this approach is successful in Amsterdam, it may also be effective in other parts of the world, where there is great potential in the built heritage but public funds and interest is lacking. Stadsherstel’s foreign activities have until now lead to the establishment of a similar company in Surinam and Zanzibar. Hifadhi Zanzibar (’preserve Zanzibar’) is existing for just over a year now and has a small but active group of shareholders and a small organisation that is working hard on obtaining the first building. It is positioning itself as organisation that raises awareness on the potential of heritage in development by taking action. AAmatters plays a key role as consultant in the process and in the transformation of the Amsterdam model to the Zanzibari base. If you want to hear more, please join at the Amstelkerk, 25 October at 20:00hrs. For more information, check Stadsherstel’s website. The lecture will be in Dutch. #heritage #Placemaking #Presentation

  • Difficult Dialogues on the WHS status of Stone Town @ ZIFF

    Hifadhi Zanzibar is asked to co-organise the Difficult Dialogues debate at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, with generous support from ACRA. This takes place on Wednesday 13 July from 19:20 at the Old Fort in Stone Town. For more information, please visit here. The dialogues concentrate on the World Heritage Status of Stone Town, which is a subject close to Hifadhi’s heart. Its’ office manager Maryam Mansab will host the debate with representatives from the institutional, cultural and private sector on the panel. But the audience will be heard as well! Make sure you take part! Right now, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is gathered in Istanbul to discuss the status of World Heritage Sites across the world. In this yearly meeting the committee decides on new sites and advises on the status of existing sites. Zanzibar’s Stone Town is renown for its rich history that is reflected in its buildings and urban structure. In the 90’s, the Government of Zanzibar made efforts for Stone Town to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This lead to the implementation of the Stone Town Planning regulations, Stone Town Heritage Management Plan and Stone Town Conservation Guidelines and all set up to save the historic character. This status was granted in 2000. The aim for the government was to protect Stone Town as source of identity and cohesion for all Zanzibari’s and to improve its attractiveness for the tourists. Zanzibar is known for its excellent beaches, but there are more places on earth offering this. However there is only one Stone Town in the world. Zanzibar recognised the potential of economic growth that comes with a successful tourist industry. In the World Heritage Committee, it will be discussed if the World Heritage Status of Stone Town is at risk. Over the last years, UNESCO has been monitoring the way Zanzibar was maintaining its status and is questioning the way it operates. What advise can we give the Zanzibar delegation that is currently in Istanbul to defend our case? #Unesco #Event #Zanzibar

  • On Thursday 14 July in Montreal: The voyages of four reflective practitioners

    This year will see the transfer of a considerable part of the extensive mediatheque from African Architecture Matters into the hands of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. CCA is much better equipped to make sure that the material will be available for students, scholars and researchers than our small organisation. For that reason, Antoni Folkers is visiting the CCA and this was seen as an opportunity to organise a lecture on the voyages that are caught in the AAmatters mediatheque. You are welcome at CCA in Montreal on Thursday 14 July at 18:00hrs at Shaughnessy House. For more information, please visit here. #Event

  • Saturday 4 June: Ng’ambo Tuitakayo presentation at Mapinduzi Park (Michenzani) in Zanzibar

    Join us, Saturday 4 June from 14-21hrs for the public presentation, with also music performances of Swahili Vibes, Tausi Taarab, Mwanadege, tours by Kawa Training Centre and an on site film show by ZIFF! In September 2015, the production of the Zanzibar City Centre Local Area Plan was taken in hand by a joint initiative of the Department of Urban and Rural Planning (DoURP), the City of Amsterdam and African Architecture Matters (AAMatters) with support from the Netherlands government. Through research, planning and design work by the project team, a final draft of the Zanzibar City Centre Local Area Plan is now ready to be shared with the community and private stakeholders. The Zanzibar City Centre Local Area Plan consists of a three components: The Zanzibar City Centre Local Area Plan The Historic Urban Landscape Atlas of Ng’ambo The Michenzani Green Corridors Project appraisal The Zanzibar City Centre Local Area Plan is a structure plan that outlines the proposed future spatial development of Ng’ambo Tuitakayo in policies, maps and images for the next ten years to come. The main strategic vectors that direct the planning proposals are: (re)connection of the people and the parts of the city with its rich culture, history and natural environment, through improved public transport, pedestrian malls and modern car parking facilities; Enhancement of the vibrancy of the City Centre through expanding commercial activity, improving public recreation facilities and culture; Protection and improvement of the quality of inclusive residency in the City Centre. The Historic Urban Landscape Atlas of Ng’ambo is fruit of the cultural heritage research that was carried out and unveils the vast riches of Ng’ambo’s cultural, social and natural heritage. The Atlas underpins the Zanzibar City Centre Local Area Plan, following the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscapes principles. The Michenzani Green Corridors Project appraisal is an urban scheme design that explores and proposes the upgrading of the public realm in the heart of Ng’ambo Tuitakayo, as well as suggests distinct areas for private and/or public development. The above outcomes will be publically presented in the heart of Ng’ambo, in the park at Mapinduzi Tower on Saturday 4 June 2016 between 14-17hrs. The presentation includes an exhibition, a public debate, music, food and pleasure. A film show organised by ZIFF closes the event (between 19-21hrs.). We look forward to see you there. Follow Ng’ambo Tuitakayo via Facebook #Zanzibar #Presentation #Event #Urbanplanning

  • Stories from Ng’ambo at the Urban Narratives symposium

    In the past weeks, a team of Zanzibar’s Department of Urban and Rural Planning and AAmatters have been working in Ng’ambo to explore the hidden stories of this historically rich area in Zanzibar town. On Friday 1 April they will present their preliminary findings at the Urban Narratives / Simulizi Mijini symposium at the British Council in Dar es Salaam. The symposium further brings an interesting group of people together from other parts of the continent and beyond, like Hannah Le Roux, Johan Lagae and Joy Mboya. For more info visit DARCH Facebook page. #heritagemanagement #heritage #HistoricUrbanLandscape #Presentation

  • Never too late to start caring about urban heritage?

    On Friday 1st of April we had the pleasure to present our project Ng’ambo Tuitakayo alongside renown scholars and urban activists as Hannah Le Roux, Johan Lagae, Joy Mboya and Iain Jackson (only to mention a few) at the Simulizi Mijini symposium on Urban Heritage in Dar Es Salaam. The symposium was jointly organized by DARCH and the TU Berlin. It started with a session on urban heritage in an international African context and gradually narrowed down its focus towards Tanzania and Zanzibar to end up with a discussion on built legacy and cultural heritage in Dar Es Salaam. Many issues related to the topic of urban heritage were raised along the way which later on led to interesting discussions on the political nature of heritage, the contested and highly problematic notion of shared heritage in the postcolonial context and the overall difficulty of defining the term heritage in relation to the multi-layered nature of cities. On a more practical note we also discussed various methods of engaging with local communities and stimulating a more conscious approach to urban heritage. Here a special thanks to Joy Mboya for sharing some insights from the incredibly inspiring annual festival Nai Ni Who? taking place in Nairobi. Despite the considerable length of the symposium the topic in itself appears to be close enough to everyone’s heart to keep the public engaged until the end. While no one dared to come with a definition of heritage, it seemed like the majority of people in the room would agree on the fluid and mutable nature of heritage and the importance of a more holistic approach to urban heritage. The day ended with a reception on the rooftop of the Old Boma, itself a listed monument, and the future quarters of DARCH. The choice of venue seemed only appropriate in the context of the discussions that had taken place earlier that day. Especially, when regarding the setting of the Old Boma, literary dwarfed by the surrounding high-rise buildings, and pondering one of the last remarks of the symposium that it is never too late to start caring about urban heritage. It’s needless to add that in that particular physical context, the sub-title of the symposium Reconfiguring Urban Heritage From Below took upon a whole new meaning. #heritage #Zanzibar #Presentation #heritagemanagement

  • Finding Stories reviewed

    The ‘Ajax Amsterdam maskan’ in Ng’ambo (Photo Marie Morel) Peter Pels - professor in the anthropology of sub-Saharan Africa at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology of Leiden University - moderated the discussions in the afternoon sessions of the symposium ‘Finding Stories’ that took place on 30 January at Stadsherstel in Amsterdam. His report on the symposium has just been published on the Leiden Anthropology Blog. A good read! #Zanzibar #Amsterdam #Anthropology #Urbanplanning

  • After Finding Stories, the story continues

    The symposium ‘Finding Stories :: The Role of Immaterial Culture in City Planning’ that took place in the Amstelkerk (Amsterdam) on 30 January attracted more participants than expected and certainly broadened perspectives and brought new ideas to the fore when it comes to how to include intangible heritage in urban planning. Soon we will give you more feedback on the outcomes and conclusions. We are grateful for the financial support of RVO, Stimuleringsfonds and Dutch Culture and our smooth partnership with the Municipality of Amsterdam and Stadsherstel, that made it possible to organise the event. Meanwhile Zanzibar’s Department of Urban and Rural Planning and African Architecture Matters are preparing return to Ng’ambo again for the continuation of the mapping and planning exercises, enriched by the inspiring presentations. (Photos below Jon Gunnarsson Ruthman) #IntangibleHeritage #Zanzibar #Amsterdam #Urbanplanning #Culture

  • Finding Stories programme available

    While the hall at Pakhuis De Zwijger was almost completely full for the presentation on Hifadhi Zanzibar today, we are already preparing for the next public event: the symposium Finding Stories :: The Role of Immaterial Culture in City Planning. Also for this event the amount of registrations has exceeded our expectations and we are happy to bring together at least 19 nationalities. You can now download the full programme. In case you are still interested to join, please send us an e-mail so we can see what we can do. #Zanzibar #Amsterdam #Urbanplanning #Culture #Anthropology

  • Update Symposium Finding Stories with all speakers

    We are happy to inform you that all speakers are known and apart from the contributions from Morocco, Benin, Chad and of course Zanzibar and Amsterdam, we are proud that we can introduce Mr. Karim Hendili from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Prof. Gabri van Tussenbroek from the University of Amsterdam to you as key note lecturers. The audience is growing steadily, but it is still possible to register until 27 January. Please check the updated announcement and follow the registration instructions if you want to join! We are keen to welcome you next week! #Culture #IntangibleHeritage #Zanzibar #Amsterdam #Urbanplanning

  • Hifadhi Zanzibar presents in Amsterdam!

    Hifadhi Zanzibar can be seen as an innovative start-up in heritage management in Zanzibar. The innovative model forms the basis of Stadsherstel Amsterdam since 1956 and overseas it is embraced as opportunity to find a new future for threatened heritage. Stadsherstel and Hifadhi, in which AAmatters plays a pivoting role, present in the Stadslicht (city light) lecture series in Pakhuis De Zwijger: City Trip – Zanzibar Town, Tanzania Wednesday 27 January 2016, 18:00 – 19:00hr. Pakhuis De Zwijger – Workspace Piet Heinkade 179 1019 HC Amsterdam Stadsherstel Amsterdam works closely together with the Government of Zanzibar to safeguard heritage and monumental buildings. In Zanzibar, Stone Town is earmarked as UNESCO World Heritage Site, just like the Canal Zone in Amsterdam. However, the governmental ability to financially support heritage maintenance and management is very limited. The local government recognised the model of Stadsherstel as a chance to involve the private sector in heritage management. The local investors were easily convinced, because they realised that Stone Town is a unique asset, attracting tourists to Zanzibar, while tourism is the most important driver for development. If Stone Town loses its appeal, competition with other beach destinations will become harder and economic development will be tempered. Mid 2015 Hifadhi Zanzibar was established and currently the first projects are being prepared. In Amsterdam there is an intensive collaboration between the municipality and Stadsherstel in cases of urban regeneration. This is also the case in Zanzibar, where the government is collaborating with Hifadhi in unprotected but historically rich Ng’ambo – the ‘Jordaan’ of Zanzibar - to acquire property at strategic locations for restoration and renting out, to save this area for unrestrained private development. Paul Morel is senior project manager at Stadsherstel, who has been involved in safeguarding many characteristic buildings in Amsterdam. He will explain how Stadsherstel works, the interest from abroad in the private company with a public goal and specifically about the collaboration with Zanzibar. Dr. Muhammad Juma is initiator of the collaboration between Zanzibar and Amsterdam and director of the Department of Urban and Rural Planning. Maryam Mansab is office manager of Hifadhi Zanzibar, the pendant of Stadsherstel. Juma and Mansab will share their experience with Stadsherstel, how the collaboration is perceived, the importance for the built heritage in Zanzibar and where Hifadhi is at the moment. You are welcome to join the presentation. Entrance is free, but please register beforehand via the ‘reserveer’ button. The lecture will be in English. #Amsterdam #Zanzibar #heritagemanagement

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