TT2 Pais Vasco Alava

TT2: Protection instruments of cultural assets defining a common framework of cultural heritage elements

TT2 Pais Vasco Alava

Master Plans adequate the general legal framework of heritage protection to the specific case of the historic rural towns of Álava. The overall objective is to develop effective and sustainable preservation tools according with the specific needs and reality of each walled rural city. The protection tool is articulated in two levels: the master plan of preservation, as an operational tool, and Special Protection Plan, as legal tool for the site protection. Master Plans aim a controlled evolution that respects its basic distinguishing features. To establish the criteria that will allow the walled rural cities to remain alive and responsive to the changing needs of the society. To lay down the guidelines for their protection and the necessary restoration actions, either by public or private initiative. Based on the preservation and protection guidelines defined by the Master Plan, the Special Protection Plan creates a legal framework for the site protection and management implementation of Master Plan.

Medieval Alava’s Walled Rural Cities are among the most unique assets of Cultural Heritage in Álava.

Throughout History, dwellings gradually took over the town walls; the demographic growth, hygienic needs and the end of the insecurity that caused the walls to be built in the first place, led to the early parapets being occupied and the walls perforated to form the doorways and windows of dwellings.

This takeover, far from meaning a degradation of the walled enclosures, is part of their authenticity. As well as allowing their survival to the present day, they have been enriched by contributions that tell us of different historical periods, of different needs, of different societies.The consequence of this historical process is two-fold: on one hand, the walls should be seen as a living monument, an unfinished work and thus subject to evolution even today; on the other, any action carried out on the walls must necessarily be seen as the confluence of public and private interests and initiatives.

Evidence of Success:

Studies developed by specific professionals or companies outsourced by: surveyors, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, civil engineers. Drafting of the Master Plan.A panel of professionals led by an Architect works in coordination with the authors of the preliminary studies. Participation of inhabitants is ensured and coordinated. It takes place at two levels: general meetings where information of each phase is spread and suggestions are made and task groups (8-10 people) where detailed discussions are more feasible. Incorporation to Town Planning Regulations (Special Protection Plan). Independent architects are hired by ARABARRI or house owners to draft the projects for public or private interventions. All projects must comply with Master Plan guidelines and Town Planning Regulations. Technical Commission. Its mission is to ensure that for each intervention the Plan is complied with. Master Plan.