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Governing our heritage

Cité épiscopale d’Albi

Albi’s urban management plan for has been defined according to the specificities of the Episcopal city. It proposes a rigorous framework for the management of the site.

The management of the the site must be considered as part of a wider plan, integrating all the elements of a global strategy to respond to demands which are complementary but sometimes difficult to reconcile such as: putting our heritage first in conservation and protection, refurbishment and public use, a didactic presentation of the Episcopal city in order to improve the experience and augment the understanding of diverse visitors, and ensuring its promotion as a tourist attraction complements economic and social development.

Preserving the universal value of the Episcopal city while keeping a perspective of local development requires dedicated local governance of our heritage that goes beyond the traditional level of management of a local authority.

40 years after the municipality took its first steps to protect the Episcopal city, the programme of management and conservation have been consolidated by the creation of a piloting committee called the ’comité du bien,’ the first meeting of which took place in December 2010.

Bringing together institutions, experts and qualified personalities, the committee will oversee projects to protect and conserve Albi’s heritage. It will watch over the quality of proposed promotional events and ensure the criteria justifying the inscription of the site onto the world heritage list are clearly identified to the public. It will also be guarantor for the promotion of and the respect for the values of UNESCO both with regard to residents and to tourists.

The committee will also offer advice on all issues relating to the Episcopal city and will oversee implementation and evaluation of the town’s management plan.

Nonetheless, no matter how pertinent and effective this committee may be, it can be successful in its mission only through cooperation with local residents and businesses. Focussing on the experiences of visitors and users of the site in order to maintain the attractiveness of the Episcopal city, while involving residents and visitors in its management, is fundamental.

The management of the site will involve ensuring that all parties feels concerned, through preliminary consultation and communication regarding developments, but equally through active participation and through working to promote environmental responsibility.

Local projects already in place through Agenda 21 will be pursued, and sustainable local development will be a corner stone of the management plan.

Finally, the management of Albi’s heritage necessarily calls for the mobilisation of significant human, technical and financial resources and sponsorship of the project, in diverse forms, will be encouraged. From large businesses to individuals or associations, the Episcopal city is accessible to everyone looking to lead community actions founded upon universal values.

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