Upcoming Events

The Commonwealth Heritage Forum is delighted to invite you to join season two of Continuing Professional Development for built environment professionals, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP), the Commonwealth Engineers Council (CEC) and the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA).

The aim of the programme is to facilitate knowledge exchange, to help promote mutual understanding and greater awareness of issues related to climate change and rapid urbanisation together with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While targeted at qualified built environment professionals, we hope that season two will be of interest to all including policymakers, city leaders and students.

The Capacity Gap

The aim of the session will be to consider the critical capacity gaps identified in the Survey of the Built Environment Professionals in the Commonwealth and how we might work together to address the underlying issues.

  • Thursday, 22 April
  • 10:00am UTC 11.00am BST
  • Online
Register here
The Conservation Challenge

The aim of the session will be to review diverse international examples of heritage-led regeneration, draw together the lessons learned and develop recommendations for future action across the Commonwealth.

  • Thursday, 29 April
  • 10:00am UTC 11.00am BST
  • Online
Register here
The Challenge of Climate Change

The aim of the session will be to consider what needs to be done to reduce the climate impact of infrastructure systems, who needs to do it and what the consequences will be if we fail.

  • Thursday, 6 May
  • 10:30am UTC 11.30am BST
  • Online
Register here
The Challenge of Inequality

The aim of the session will be to explore deep-rooted spatial inequalities that exist in many cities and city regions, together with recommendations to address them in order to achieve inclusive outcomes.

  • Thursday, 13 May
  • 6.00pm UTC 7.00 pm BST
  • Online
Register here
The Impact of COVID-19

The aim of the session will be to review diverse international examples of heritage-led regeneration, draw together the lessons learned and develop recommendations for future action across the Commonwealth.

  • Thursday, 20 May
  • 10:00am UTC 11.00am BST
  • Online
Register here

Catch up Talks

In case you missed our heritage talks, you can watch them here.

Government Houses of the Commonwealth by Jeffrey Hyland
4th February 2021

This talk looks at the unique histories of some of over fifty Vice-Regal Residences of the Crown across the Commonwealth.

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The Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew by Francis Maude
18th February 2021

The Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew forms part of the World Heritage Site and was recently magnificently restored.

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The slave fort of Bunce Island, Sierra Leone by Isatu Smith
4th March 2021

This talk, by Isatu Smith, will address Bunce Island's history including its phases of construction, uses and life on the island, and preservation efforts.

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Character Assessment in Historic Towns and Cities By Karin Taylor
18th March 2021

Character comprises myriad different elements that combine to make a place or building distinctive. Karin Taylor explains how in Fiji she worked with local volunteers using techniques of character assessment to understand the qualities that make it special.

Read more

Our International Launch

Australia House in London provided the venue for our hugely successful international launch on the evening of the 11th March 2020.

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The evening attracted a full house, including High Commissioners from many Commonwealth countries, members of both houses of parliament, and leading architects and conservationists.

After warmly welcoming everyone, His Excellency George Brandis QC, the High Commissioner for Australia, spoke eloquently about the importance of working together across the Commonwealth to preserve our past and define our future. He stressed that ‘our family of nations share not only an architectural past, but a common future for the built environment’.

Our founding patron, Sir Rodney Williams, the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, a passionate believer in Commonwealth values, then gave the inaugural address: ‘we are the guardians of a unique heritage for those that come after us,’ he said. ‘Much is vulnerable, and we need to pass it on to future generations in a better state than we found it. Understanding this legacy, and the buildings and places that bear witness to it, is a crucial part of our individual identity and collective sense of belonging’.

Sir Rodney highlighted the challenges faced by small island states – climate change, hurricanes, fire, neglect, dereliction and inadequate resources. He welcomed the access to specialist expertise that the CHF could offer.

We were fortunate to have Yasmeen Lari, one of our most eminent International Advisory Committee members at the launch. Yasmeen was in London to collect the prestigious Jane Drew Prize for Women in Architecture. She told the audience about the pioneering work the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan had been doing in Karachi to promote the co-ordinated restoration and repair of shared heritage buildings where there is keen interest in setting up a local chapter of the CHF.

Chair of the CHF, Philip Davies explained that our shared built heritage had been crafted by local people over many generations. It is a key aspect of the national identity of many Commonwealth nations and the links that bind us together. ‘Each’, he said, is part of an extended family of nations whose lives, histories and futures are all deeply intertwined.’

Philip took the opportunity to announce a partnership with Oxford Brookes University and Texas A&M University to help countries prepare registers of heritage at risk starting with a pilot project in Barbados. This will involve working with local heritage bodies to train young people and volunteers in specialist techniques, which in turn will build local skills, employment opportunities and resilience.

The CHF can make a real difference.

Photos by David Madden @ www.dmphoto.co.uk

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