Are we losing our historical sites to floods?

Andreas Klippe Comments February 19, 2018

This is the first part of our series on the protection of historic sites against flood. Keep on following our blog site and learn flood safety tips that can save places made precious by history!

How significant are historic urban areas?

flooded historical sites

A paper by Jinghui Wang entitled “Problems and Solutions in the Protection of Historical Urban Areas” appeared on Frontiers of Architectural Research on March 2012 (volume 1, issue 1). The said research was very enlightening on the importance of historic sites located in urban areas.

According to Wang, historical urban areas are the windows to the city’s past, and the overall landscape they constitute displays the typical scene in a certain point in time. Wang maintains that these areas must be protected, since they give an insight to what it was like during that time.

historical buildings torn down

However, Wang said most of these areas had been destroyed after major urban plans were put in place. In some cities, the transformation of old city parts has led to the complete destruction of historical areas.

The same study said that historical areas are part of the character of a city, and history would be lost without them. Any single building in these areas that is not qualified for special protection as a relic is often torn down. However, when a certain block of old buildings are seen together, they make a typical scene of that city in a particular point in time, giving them a higher value.

modern buildings with backdrop ancient buildings

Wang explained that the concept of historical urban area protection originated in the 1960’s. The world was rebuilding itself after the Great War. Much of the WW2 veterans decided to work at cities where they have a better life. Hence, suburban life began to spring. Along with it is the destruction of much of its historical sites.

Laws must be passed to preserve these sites!

A country without a sense of history cannot move on. They cannot pass laws that are suited to their culture.

Flood control barriers in action at Austria

That is why there must be an understanding of history so as to learn from past mistakes. Historical sites give people a better perspective of what past generations were doing and so they can improve on it.

Andreas Klippe

About the author

Andreas Klippe is founder of the Asian Center for Flood Control located in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines.

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