Aiming to assimilate international urban conservation methodologies and heritage preservation, the Kochi Corporation will sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lorient, a major port city in France.
The pact will be signed on the sidelines of the ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet, said Mayor Tony Chammany at the Corporation council meeting held here on Tuesday. The Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation is coordinating the collaboration.
Lorient vice-Mayor Jean Paul Solaro, director of international relations Alain Noiret and cultural specialist Moe Chiba, a UNESCO member, was also present at the meeting which discussed the prospective of the pact between the two port cities.
“Since Kochi and Lorient have similar footings in terms of its rich heritage and industrial development, there are ample opportunities for both the cities to develop. Our focus will be on educational development, cultural assimilation, tourism and tradition conservation,” the Mayor said.
Focussing on the action plan once the pact is signed, Solaro said that cultural assimilation, business opportunities, educational facilities, seafood industry and the like would be given priority during the 2012-2015 tenure.
National and international expert missions to here and Lorient will also be part of the programme. The latter aims to develop international collaboration in the academics of heritage conservation with the professional institutions here. This will in turn generate employment opportunities for local people, the delegates stated.
The other plans include acupuncture projects, wherein small-scale local projects will be undertaken to create awareness of the heritage planning process, improving legal protection, and the revision and integration of various heritage aspects.
A heritage resource management plan will also be created apart from preparing detailed project reports on developing heritage sites like Fort Kochi, interlinking water systems (especially the canal systems) etc. Instituting heritage awards for the streets and private restoration works will also be part of the their plan, Solaro added.