Jean-Paul L’Allier, four-time mayor of Quebec City and founding member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, has died. He was 77 years old.
Lauded as “a visionary who devoted his life to public service and helped make Quebec City an international tourist destination,” Mr L’Allier gathered mayors from 41 historic cities to found the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) at a conference in Fez, Morocco in 1993. This organization has served as a place of discussion for issues concerning the conservation and tourist usage of historic urban centres, particularly through its periodical conferences that have taken place in locations such as Bergen (1995), Puebla (2001), Rhodes (2003), Cusco (2005), Kazan (2007), Quito (2009), and many other cities.
Mr L’Allier served as President of the OWHC from its foundation until 1999. He also served as Mayor of Quebec City for sixteen years, from 1988 until 2004.
From the beginning, ICCROM established relationships with the OWHC with a view towards collaborating on training activities for World Heritage cities management. ICCROM’s then Director-General, Mr Marc Laenen, attended the 1995 OWHC conference in Bergen together with Mr L’Allier and representatives from UNESCO, the Council of Europe, ICOMOS, the Getty Conservation Institute, and other international, governmental and private organizations, and a range of mayors of historic cities. This second OWHC conference gave rise to the Bergen Protocol on Communications and Relations among Cities of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC), which set a framework for international, sectorial collaboration on projects intended to help cities meet the challenges of having World Heritage status. This protocol, adopted in June 1995, committed ICCROM to the joint development of training programmes on the management of historic urban centres.
The collaboration between L’Allier, the OWHC and ICCROM gave rise to several ICCROM programmes relating to the conservation and management of historic cities. These included the “Urban Conservation Initiative (UCI)”, whose name was later changed to “Integrated Territorial and Urban Conservation”, or ITUC. This programme was coordinated by Dr Jukka Jokilehto on behalf of ICCROM and in liaison with the OWHC and other partner organizations. Subsequently, ICCROM’s Heritage Settlements Programme, led by Dr Herb Stovel, collaborated closely with Mr L’Allier and the OWHC, particularly for ICCROM’s Latin American Training Strategy, implemented in 2000 in collaboration with partner organizations.
Mr L’Allier’s substantial efforts in this direction, along with his personal qualities of genuineness and affability, are warmly remembered by ICCROM.
ICCROM offers its heartfelt condolences to Mr L’Allier’s family, and to his personal and professional network of colleagues worldwide.
- Passing of Jean-Paul L’Allier: Founder of the OWHC (OWHC website)
- Jean-Paul L’Allier, former Quebec City mayor, dead at 77 (CBC news, 5 January 2016)
- «Merci, Jean-Paul». Concert d’éloges pour l’ancien maire de Québec, Jean-Paul L’Allier (Le Journal de Québec, 9 January 2016)
(photo: Simon Villeneuve, CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0)
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