Kuldīgas (Goldingen) UNESCO

Protection / Management

The management of the heritage site Kuldīga / Goldingen in Kurzeme is under the control of Kuldīga municipality. The management team consists of specialists in various fields, including architects, urban planners, experts in the field of restoration and representatives of the regional museum. The day-to-day management of the World Heritage site will be determined by the Management Plan, which was developed in 2020 during the World Heritage nomination preparation process, and is based on the outlined vision and six strategic objectives. These elements were developed by the management team together with international World Heritage experts. The main aspects of the Management Plan are based on the results obtained in a joint seminar attended by local and national stakeholders - residents, architects, representatives of the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO and the National Cultural Heritage Administration, as well as the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the early phase of the development of the management plan, the stakeholder engagement process focused on the creation of a transparent management system that would facilitate the cooperation of all involved parties.

The nominated heritage site is protected by a number of local and national legal documents. It is recognized as a cultural monument in the State Law "On the Protection of Cultural Monuments", which provides for the protection of cultural heritage of national and international importance at the highest state level. This law stipulates that all work related to the preservation of monuments must be entrusted to certified specialists (Republic of Latvia, 1992, Section 21). The landscape elements of the Venta Valley were granted the status of natural landscape monument in 1957 and in 2004 they were recognized as part of the NATURA 2000 network, which includes landscapes of European importance. At the local level, many planning documents, such as the local area development plan, include strict legal mechanisms that protect the status quo of urban heritage and prohibit harmful economic activities that could diminish the value of a heritage site. The legal protections in place have proven to be extremely effective.

In the field of preservation of architectural heritage, an important partner of the municipality is the Kuldīga Restoration Center, which is described in more detail in chapter 4a. The center is located in one of the buildings embodying universal values of special importance in the heart of the old town. The head of the center and the restoration specialists working there act as contacts for all interested parties, and can be approached by the municipality, architects, and residents. The knowledge of the Center's experts, along with the contacts they have established with other specialists, is a valuable advantage in the protection and management of objects of special importance embodying universal values. Thanks to effective legal protection and a responsible management system, there are currently no significant threats to the nominated heritage site. However, in 2020, a risk analysis and threat assessment was carried out to identify potential threats and develop an action strategy to prevent them. As the heritage site includes a town center which may face pressure from urban development, one of the management's priorities is to develop a strategy to address any negative impacts such development may have. Along with the existing territory planning documents, the municipality intends to develop concepts, guidelines and plans for the protection and development of the values of the nominated heritage site, to implement public investment projects for the improvement of the infrastructure of the old town and natural areas, as well as to restore the most important public buildings located in the nominated heritage site. The municipality also plans to continue the monitoring work and create databases to ensure the long-term results necessary for successful management. In order to promote public awareness and prevent negative effects that can be caused by improper property management, the municipality intends to implement informative and awareness-raising measures to promote the education of not only the municipality, but also the owners and employees of tourism companies in the field of cultural heritage preservation.

The Management Plan developed in 2020, which is attached, lists all existing and potential threats, as well as planned measures to ensure proper management and protection of the heritage site. In this context, a monitoring system has been developed. Detailed information on the protection and management of the heritage site is provided in Chapters 4 and 5 of the nomination.