Joana Pestana
Urban Landscape Colours Under Preservation


The historic centre of Oporto was designated a World Heritage site in 1996 due to its eclectic and scenic urban landscape, itself a result of the accumulation of successive contributions of different architecture periods over the past 1000 years of Portugese history. Once legitimised by UNESCO, such a site has to go along with protective measures to ensure its preservation: Architectonic systems, volume and height, proportions, roofs, materials and exterior colours of the buildings. ‘Porto Vivo’ association was created for this effect. Reflecting upon this apparent paradox, we ponder upon what extent the preservation of this eclectic heritage contradicts the heterogeneous process that characterised this heritage creation. Precluding and freezing any possible development, this site is conducting its own ‘museification’.