Sustainability of Heritage Preservation in Academic Education of Architects in Lithuania
Keywords:architect education, expert survey, sustainability, urban heritage preservation
Research of urgent problems and new aspects of contemporary tendencies in architect education of the preservation of cultural heritage in Lithuania has been carried out by the team of Department of Architectural Fundamentals, Theory and Arts, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Within the framework of the "Sustainable Rehabilitation of the Historic Towns in Europe” (SURE), project funded by EU with the collaboration among the Polish, Italian, Spanish and Lithuanian counterparts, Vilnius team has performed the research on the problems in emerging tendencies in the highest education on the preservation of the cultural heritage in Lithuania. The questionnaires for the opinion pooling were sent to the selected threefold type of the recipients: educational-scientific, public-state, and private-professional (Best Practices Handbook 2017).
The research of enquire reflected devastating effect of recent processes of urban planning in Lithuania in the immovable cultural heritage area: neglect of cultural landscape value in urban planning of cities, concern of identity loss and negative impact of globalization, lack of proper maintenance and use of historic buildings. Contrary to these revealed problems plea of recent international strategic documents emphasize variety of ways of contribution of historic areas in bettering of urban life.
Lack of ecological approach in urban heritage planning, tension between contents of academic programs and official aims of strategic documents ratified by the State, difference in expectations of theoreticians and practicing urban planners were revealed by the results of completed research.
The differences in attitudes of academicians and professionals, i.e. inadequate reflection of urban heritage in urban planning processes, shortcomings in integrating of local communities into preservation processes and academic education of architects were clearly stated. Variety of important issues in relation with protection of cultural heritage and sustainability was unveiled in academic education of architects in Lithuania. Provided questionnaires and collected results of the answers, after the completed analysis of the education programs and expert survey disclosed the shortage of ecological knowledge in the field of cultural heritage protection. Considering revealed problems and needs integration of sustainability and urban heritage preservation should be proposed as one of major target for the improvement of existing educational system of architects in Lithuania. Primarily targets to be hit by the alteration of the situation would be the reduction of the lack of ecological approach in urban heritage planning, diminished tension between contents of academic programs and official aims of strategic documents ratified by State and lowered difference in expectations among the theoreticians and practicing urban planners.