What is a UNESCO Chair?

What is a UNESCO Chair?

A UNESCO Chair is a long-term programme, set up in accordance with a resolution adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1992, for educational and research activities at international level.
The UNESCO Chair programme pursues the strategic objective of fostering the creation of new educational programmes, generating new ideas and reflections in the area of scientific research and facilitating exchanges between Universities on specific themes.

The UNESCO Chair in Mantova

The severe crisis that has recently hit western economies calls for rethinking of strategies for territorial development; with this in mind, knowledge and cultural heritage take on a central role in facilitating economic development and recovery.
In contemporary cities, it is difficult to strike the right balance between architectural preservation and urban change, partly due to the complex nature of the heritage which is not just a picturesque setting to be admired or merely a means for development, but a contextualised and  evolving combination of material and immaterial traces.

The aim of the UNESCO "Architectural Preservation and Planning in World Heritage Cities" Chair is to combine differing disciplines and technologies to efficiently tackle complex and multi-scale problems related to architectural and environmental planning and preservation in contemporary cities. To achieve this, the curricula proposed for the UNESCO Chair will be transversal to several themes:

a.    Architectural design in contemporary cities in relation to the value and identity of the historical built environment;
b.    Restoration and history of architecture and of landscape;
c.    Analysis and management of territorial preservation policies.


Mission and Objectives

  • To develop a network of innovative competencies for dealing with complex architectural and planning problems linked to preservation of heritage, with particular reference to UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • To internationalise research, teaching and circulation of information activities at the Mantova Campus, in the pursuit of a specialisation in the field of preservation of the architectural and territorial heritage.
  • To create synergies with the new MSc Architecture programme taught in English (effective from the 2012-2013 Academic Year).
  • To conduct research activities in relation to one or more UNESCO World Heritage sites or properties, with particular reference to the Mantova and Sabbioneta site.
  • To promote research and teaching activities and at the same time connect universities to each other by organising internships, work projects on theses and, more in general, mobility of graduates from one campus to the other (using resources set aside for existing and future programmes).
  • To boost cooperation between the north and south of the world in the field of preservation of heritage, acting as a catalyst for a series of exchanges between associated universities, thus laying the foundations for creation of an UNTWIN programme.  
  • To make its research and teaching results known to a wider public.