Cultural Property Management and Physical Planning: Lessons for Cameroon
Historic preservation or conservation is a distinct and important aspect of physical planning developed as a result of disturbances or threats to structures or sites of historic importance or master pieces of architecture. Conservation seeks to enhance, preserve and retain the symbols of the past. In many ways, the planning and preservation movement in Cameroon have had similar but separate patterns of institutional development. Although the town planning profession is older and more refined than the preservation movement, there is a shared concern for the quality of the built environment. This paper has attempted to look at the concept of cultural properties and examined the classification criteria, attributes, as well as methods of managing cultural properties in Cameroon, with a view of making suggestions of creating a theoretical framework/policy on how historic preservation in physical development planning could be enhanced in future. The objectives of this paper are to appraise and synthesise cultural values of historic properties and to identify how the current perspective of managing facilities in Cameroon influences the conservation process in order to conserve cultural values of historic properties. A literature review and “practices” in Cameroon as well as surveys have informed the basis for this paper. Findings from the results showed that for a theoretical framework/policy for cultural values of historic properties to be developed, there must be integration and linkages of cultural values of historic properties with management of facilities in the conservation of historic properties in Cameroon. To embrace the issue of preservation of cultural properties, there is the need to acquire the necessary technical, legal and institutional framework and information.