Innovation in architecture is with no doubt extremely important, but preserving and restoring the old buildings is also important because those old monuments are the reflection of our history, they help us to understand and respect people who lived in different eras with different habits and traditions. As well the existence of old monuments will help us observe the changes in the societies for a better understanding of the reasons that lead to the development of cities and societies and even traditions to the current status. Old buildings are the face of cities they reflect the changes that happened in a city over time, they reflect conflicts, wars, and the prosperity of the society, it even reflects the economic condition of the city over time.
Though building new buildings are simpler, and cheaper than preserving the old buildings, there are many benefits of maintaining and keeping heritage buildings of our cities intact, of those benefits the following:
- With respect to tourism, maintaining and saving Architectural monuments attract tourists, specially people who like to experience the “spirit” of the city, which is seen through architecture. As well when old buildings attract tourists, that will definitely create more jobs for locals, and help in improving the economic prosperity of the city, therefore maintaining historical buildings provides workplaces for local people and experts from other counties.
- With respect to culture, old buildings help us to understand the history that occurred before we were born and promotes the respect for those who lived in prior times and different traditions. Preservation of old monuments plays an important cultural role in cultivating pride of our heritage and past making us unique in the world. Cairo is known for the pyramids, and Paris is known for the Eiffel tower, while London is known for the Big Ben and etc. Historical buildings bring character and charm to the neighborhood that people live in.
- With respect to the environment, despite that building new green buildings that save energy is important, restoring old buildings is environmentally friendly as well, and can simply become green. As well preserving old buildings can be considered a form of recycling, which reduces construction waste, saves energy spent on manufacturing building materials, tools and equipment and transporting them.
Restoring buildings require knowledge and skills more than those required to construct simple buildings and that’s one of the incentives for holding the Cities’ Identity Through Architecture and Arts conference arranged by IEREK at Cairo, Egypt.