Intangible Cultural Heritage in Urban Contexts

The presentations of the ICH-NGO Forum meeting in Bogota 8 december 2019

Urban area Super diversity Lower government Government Participation Rural area Diversity UNESCO Safeguarding

On Sunday, 8 December 2019 the ICH-NGO Forum organized the symposium Intangible Cultural Heritage in Urban Contexts. The presentations were published in a soft publication pdf, that is available on this website.

ICH in Urban Contexts is a timely topic. Over half of the population of the world is now living in urban areas – cities with millions of inhabitants and diverse communities. Cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, Bogota and Rotterdam are facing multiple social and cultural challenges, not the least, due to processes of migration, the challenge of superdiversity and social cohesion.

While intangible cultural heritage is often presented as a mainspring for cultural diversity, what about intangible cultural heritage in an urban context? What is intangible cultural heritage in an urban context and how is it transmitted and safeguarded? How can it contribute to social cohesion and renewed dialogue among communities? Is there a role for city governments in adopting certain cultural policies?

Recurring themes

Four themes keep recurring in this publication:

  • ICH-Urban policies: two articles refer directly to the actions undertaken by the State to safeguard ICH in urban contexts: Colombia and Singapore.
  • ICH-Urban realities: two articles describe the situation of ICH in two specific urban contexts: Kathmandu and Dhaka.
  • ICH-Urban experiences: The articles about Kolkata and Bamako describe many experiences to safeguard ICH in these two cities. It’s not about state policies but about community initiatives.
  • ICH-Urban migrants: two articles are about the situations of migrants in cities and how they managed to safeguard their ICH: Paris and Arnhem.


ICH NGO Forum (Group photo) (1)

Table of contents

- Introduction, by Albert van der Zeijden, Yeo Kirk Siang and Gerald Wee
-Juliana Forero & Andres Forero, ICH in Urban Contexts Program in Colombia: Living Culture, Identity and Collective Knowledge for the Transformation of Colombian Cities
- Yeo Kirk Siang, Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage In Urban Context: Experiences From Singapore
- Monalisa Maharjan, Traditional Practices, Ancient Settlements and the Urbanization: The Case of Kathmandu Valley
- Saifur Rashid, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Urban Space and Social Cohesion: The Case of Dhaka City in Bangladesh
- Ananya Bhattacharya, Reimagining Kolkata
- Sekou Berte, Intangible Cultural Heritage in Urban Contexts: The Case of the Bamako and its Backdrop Country Side
- Frida Calderón Bony, The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Migrants: The work of Île du Monde Association in Paris
- Mark Schep, Safeguarding Travelling Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Case of Hindustani ICH in Arnhem

Intangible Cultural Heritage in Urban Contexts. The presentations of the ICH-NGO Forum meeting in Bogota 8 December 2019, edited by Albert van der Zeijden (Dutch Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage), Yeo Kirk Siang and Gerald Wee (National Heritage Board Singapore) Arnhem/Singapore september 2020.

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