top of page

Finding Stories :: the role of immaterial culture in city planning

On 30 January 2016, AAmatters together with its partners City of Amsterdam, Government of Zanzibar and Stadsherstel Amsterdam, organises the symposium ‘Finding Stories :: the role of immaterial culture in city planning

It seems obvious that culture and immaterial heritage are important components for regeneration plans in cities. However, it remains a challenge to find the often hidden stories representing the culture of the existing communities and to then incorporate them in planning and design.

The Municipality of Amsterdam and the Government of Zanzibar – both managing UNESCO World Heritage Sites - are working on the development of strategies for heritage-based urban regeneration in Zanzibar. This developed from a particular interest from Zanzibar in the collaboration between the private and public sector in Amsterdam when it comes to using heritage as driver for development. This already led to the establishment of Hifadhi Zanzibar, a company following the model of Stadsherstel Amsterdam NV.

Now the focus is on the heritage based regeneration of Ng’ambo, a less known area just outside of the world famous Stone Town, but equally interesting in historic sense. Next to mapping of the tangible component, it is essential to uncover the cultural and socio-economic framework in the area. This integral approach is the key principle of the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape approach, for which Ng’ambo is an important pilot project in East Africa.

The mapping of the intangible heritage of the area – based upon intensive community involvement - is about to start. This is the reason to organise the symposium Finding Stories as part of a workshop with colleagues from Zanzibar and Amsterdam.

This symposium is partly open for public. The public programme (between 9-13:00 hrs) includes among others:

  • Project introductions by Aart Oxenaar (Director Department Monuments and Archaeology City of Amsterdam), Muhammad Juma (Director Department for Urban and Rural Planning Zanzibar) and Antoni Folkers (African Architecture Matters)

  • Key note lectures on the relation between the planned and the lived city and the relevance of the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Approach (speakers to be confirmed)

  • Cases from Casablanca (by Abderrahim Kassou), Benin, Chad and Morocco (by Franck Houndegla) and Mozambique (by Silje Elroy Sollien)

  • A panel discussion on tools and techniques for involving intangible heritage in urban planning and the relevance of this for the urban climate.

The afternoon sessions are closed and specifically focused on the Zanzibar case:

  • Tools and techniques for Finding Stories in Ng’ambo

  • Translating Stories in Urban Planning and Design for Ng’ambo

The results will be presented and discussed in a public conclusive session between 16-17:00 hrs.

If you are interested to join the public programme, please register by sending an e-mail to You will receive payment instructions for the participation fee:

  • Regular: € 20,00 per person

  • Reduction fee for students: € 10,00 per person (please provide copy of student card)

Please register before 27 January 2016. A more detailed programme will be distributed later.

The symposium is organised by AAmatters, also involved in the collaboration between Amsterdam and Zanzibar. This symposium is financed through funding from RVO, Stimuleringsfonds and Dutch Culture.

You can download a printable document with above information here.

Related Posts

See All
Recent news
RSS Feed
Search By CAtegories
Search By Tags

Subscribe to our mailing list for news and updates

Follow Us
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
bottom of page