Rehabilitation of the Roman aqueduct and environment in Skopje, Macedonia
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Strategic plan for the preservation and rehabilitation of the archaeological site and environment around the Roman aqueduct in Skopje

Project background:
Although Macedonia and Skopje are offering an environment of exceptional beauty, natural quality and cultural history, the country is not yet a popular cultural tourism destination. The amount of cultural heritage in the country is immense but often not in the best state due to the limited information, lack of means and of general interest. It is necessary to identify the value and the development chances of the cultural heritage objects and sites. By offering chances for a possible use, economic development and employment, the attention for protection and investment in the cultural heritage will increase. 

The Roman aquaduct photo1

In the current situation the image of Skopje is set mostly by the modern city centre and the ottoman bazaar. It is desired and necessary that the remnants of the Roman times are respected and become part of the image of the city. Nowadays the remains of the former Roman settlements are not in favour to local population nor tourists. The famous archaeological site of the Roman aqueduct is located in the immediate proximity of the city centre and city park but is almost unknown and not easily accessible. Due to the proximity of the archaeological site and the city park, the site could be developed as an integrated extension of the park. To realise this idea it is necessary to widen the protection zone around the archaeological site of the Roman aqueduct and to connect the site with the green areas within the city. 


Due to the dramatic pace of change in Macedonia in recent years and due to the limited capacity of the public institutions, both horizontal and vertical co-operation has been limited. It is essential that the capacity of the administrations is increased so that they can compete with private sector demands and are able to elaborate and implement own strategies in an integrated and optimal manner. If the institutional capacity of the administrations is not strengthened the consequences will be severe. On the one hand they will be unable to make optimal use of the available funds and on the other hand they will remain unable to play a significant role in the elaboration of development initiatives in the future. 


The Roman aquaduct photo2


In Macedonia there is a legislative basis for the protection of the cultural heritage but there is a lack experience to combine protection measures with an integrated and strategic approach. In a first phase an inventory and description of the build and natural heritage will be described. This description will also focus on the existing maintenance and heritage of these areas and constructions, in a second phase key stakeholders will be brought together in order to gradually develop a vision for development and cooperation. This step will focus on a participatory approach in order to raise the ownership and cooperation. A third phase will focus on the elaboration of a strategic development plan including concrete steps and actions to undertake on the short and medium term. A fourth phase will contain the elaboration of material in order to make values and actions better known (publications, websites, newsletter, leaflets...). The main target group and direct beneficiaries is the staff of the Cultural Heritage Protection Office and the department for Environmental and Nature Protection. A wider group of regional development stakeholders and the staff of the other planning regions will benefit indirectly from the improved communication and institutional capacity as a result of the project. 


The approach will focus on a joint cooperative development of the plan based on surveys, workshops, seminaries, exchange travels, case studies and publications. The study will offer an inventory of the monuments (map, photo, description), a description of values, management, chances and needs, a vision and strategy for the preservation and development of town and environment, a concrete list of actions to undertake (tasks an responsibilities), a growing ownership on values, chances and actions, and activities and publications. This cooperation is not only orientated on the preservation of cultural heritage but also on the multidisciplinary approach and the cooperation between several public institutions. The project could serve as a very good example for other historic sites and strengthen the capacity by the new experience, cooperation and discussion. 


The Roman aquaduct photo3



  • to protect the remaining historic monuments (after the 1963 earthquake) in Skopje from dilapidation and fast urban development;
  • to emphasize the value of architectural heritage;
  • to increase the attention for architectural heritage;
  • to enlarge the research on architectural heritage;
  • to stimulate a more comprehensive approach when dealing with cultural heritage;
  • to propose opportunities for economic revaluation;
  • collaboration between different partners (universities, public services, private companies)


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Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2009 10:02