Understanding heritage values to design sustainable cities
Ana Pereira Roders is Professor of Heritage and Values. The Chair of Heritage and Values focuses on further understanding the values that define heritage, such as cultural, social, ecological, and economic; and how they impact the sustainability of cities. One of the main goals is to define, develop, and test new integrated assessment frameworks to better monitor and strengthen heritage conservation worldwide.
“If you just apply innovative technologies, without considering the heritage and values of the context, a project may turn out to be inappropriate and unsustainable. We need to ensure that solutions are relevant for the places and people we design for.”
Heritage is a key resource to make 'cities and human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable'. This motto is at the heart of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda. Heritage is to constantly questioned, as heritage is a societal construction, culturally diverse and ever changing. The understanding of the values that define heritage evolves over time and place.
By connecting to other Chairs throughout BK Bouwkunde, to professionals from practice worldwide, and intergovernmental institutions as UNESCO, the Chair of Heritage and Values is to bring cutting-edge knowledge, both specific and comparative, into the field. Not only to identify the resources that are valued as heritage, by whom, how, and why; but also, for revealing and questioning the impact and added value achieved through design for a more sustainable urban development. The Chair is keen to explore novel research methods in search for better results. This includes integrating quantitative methods and big data with qualitative methods like interviews, peer groups, and workshops, often crossing disciplinary boundaries and scales. The Chair is also committed to help raise scientific integrity and ethics, among students and researchers, peers and professionals worldwide.
“Go beyond the makeup! - That is how I can advise the new generation of architects. Students are already raising questions on climate change, social segregation and equity, cultural identity and circular economy, among other challenges. Although they are passionate, their designs and answers to these questions often remain hypothetical. Universities have to catch up and empower students to accept no less than sustainability in the broadest sense. I like challenging my students. I encourage them to question, to really listen, and to be accountable for the impact of their designs.”
Ana Pereira Roders graduated as an Architect at University Lusíada (Portugal) in 2002; and obtained a Ph.D. in Building Technology in 2007 at Eindhoven University of Technology. Since 2016, she works as Associate Professor in Heritage and Sustainability at Eindhoven University of Technology. She has also worked as Visiting Professor at VU Amsterdam, KU Leuven and ULiege (Belgium), Durham University (UK), and Universidade Lúrio (Mozambique). She is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development (Emerald, UK), and gave a TEDx Talk on how cities become resource efficient in Hamburg in 2015. Since 2008, Ana cooperates closely with UNESCO and the World Heritage Centre in particular. She led the creation of global online platforms such as Protected Urban Planet and the Global Observatory on the Historic Urban Landscape. She is currently member of the governing board of the International Center on Space Technology for Natural and Cultural Heritage (Chinese Academy of Sciences). She is a regular assessor of research proposals and results, as the latest Regiostars awards 2018, and the NWO VENI 2018.
Ulrich Knaack (Head of Department): “We are very happy to announce that Ana Pereira Roders has been appointed Professor of Heritage and Values. She has an impressive international network, amongst others with and within UNESCO. Coming from TU Eindhoven, she has a lot of experience in research and education in the field of heritage. Ana brings enthusiasm, commitment, and a fresh vision on the strategy and future of the area, including the sustainability of built heritage.”