Tuesday, 6 July 2010 12:00 AM
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched a building conservation centre in China to collect and share international expertise.
Urbanisation has been remarkable in China as millions flock from the impoverished countryside to towns and suburbs that spring up, sometimes, in a matter of months. The number of cities has grown from under 200 in the late 1970s to nearly 700 today.
This is good news for people moving out of rural squalour but the downside is that China's ancient buildings nestled discreetly in downtown locations often get neglected - or bulldozed - amidst the rampant development.
Now, though, developers and municipal governments are waking up to the need to conserve China's delicate built heritage, and the launch of the CIOB's Building Conservation Centre in Suzhou, China will be a significant boost to that effort.
Organised by the CIOB and supported by UNESCO's World Heritage Institute of Training and Research, the conservation centre will host conferences and other knowledge sharing events on ancient building conservation.
Speaking at the launch, covered by Chinese television and print media, CIOB Past President Prof. Li Shirong said: "If we don't pay attention to this our history will be dismantled. There is a lot of expertise around the world and we can learn a lot from the CIOB."
The centre will be housed in the old part of Suzhou, a city of seven million near Shanghai that was founded in 500 BC. Suzhou is famous for its buildings and intricate walled gardens dating back to the 17th Century. The centre will be housed in a building provided by Suzhou New Canglang Real Estate Development Company.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.
To contribute to the creation of a modern, progressive, and responsible construction industry; able to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges faced in the 21st century.
Our 7 Guiding Principles
. Creating extraordinary people through professional learning and continuous personal development.
. Promoting the built environment as central to the quality of life for everyone everywhere.
. Achieving a sustainable future, worldwide.
. Advocating exemplary ethical practice and behaviour, integrity and transparency.
. Pursuing excellence in management practice, and technological innovation rooted in evidence based science.
. Being socially responsible and working responsibly.
. Enabling our members to find an emotional resonance with the Institute; their success is our success.
We have over 45,000 members around the world and are considered to be the international voice of the building professional, representing an unequalled body of knowledge concerning the management of the total building process.
Chartered Member status is recognised internationally as the mark of a true, skilled professional in the construction industry and CIOB members have a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards within the built environment.
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Saul Townsend MCIPR
Press & Communications Manager
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
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