Sherine Shafik Aly
Historical sites are the economic, cultural and social drivers for a dynamic and sustainable environment. They constitute an integral part of nations' history, identity and regional diversity. Small and medium-sized historical sites with their outstanding built cultural heritage strongly shape the urban landscapes and form the backbone for a balanced and polycentric settlement structure. Historical sites face many challenges like accelerating globalization, structural, social and demographic changes as well as environmental problems and urban growth. As urban growth is a double face process it is the concentration of population in urban due to supplied services that are missing in rural areas at the same time it is a decline of socio-economic areas agglomerations. This increase in population happens due to concentration of economic activity, which is important determinant, and the result, of urbanization. This results in introducing unbalanced trends which destroys human cohesion and building social exclusion in cities and regions. Through urbanization, people ignore their identities and traditions seeking for adequate services and better lifestyle leading to vanishing of existing urban fabric and creates undefined urban pattern. The right balance between restoring and preserving unique cultural heritage has to be set to enable future-proof urban development. Urban growth affects the efficiency of production and economic growth, and the way agents interact and live in cities. Understanding its implications and causes has captured the interest of economists, architects and urban planners in the past and deserves to continue doing so in the future. The research aims to extract a set of urban guidelines to cope with the development process with respect to the identity and character of the place and to highlight the importance of historical sites, which creates job opportunities, and help to raise the socio-economic level of the society. Key words: Historical sites - heritage- identity- architectural style- urban conservation