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2019 freetown studio report 1

“Heritage and Sustainable Urbanization: Freetown, Sierra Leone”

Freetown has a complex history that is inextricably linked to both the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans and the struggle for African independence. In the face of rapid population growth, land consumption, and densification, the City Council is exploring ways to integrate this multifaceted heritage into its plans for sustainable urbanization. This studio of Columbia graduate students in historic preservation and urban planning, in collaboration with students and faculty from Fourah Bay College, examined the intersection of heritage conservation and urban planning by exploring the varying perspectives on and typologies of heritage, the use of heritage places in the social and physical fabric of the city, existing governance and policies, and innovative approaches to instrumentalizing heritage to promote civic dialogue, equity, and sustainability. This collaborative studio and report were made possible through the support of World Monuments Fund, the US Embassy in Sierra Leone, and the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.