Protecting life: The common goals of nature reserves and architectural heritage sites



How to Cite

Horácek, M. (2020). Protecting life: The common goals of nature reserves and architectural heritage sites. Journal of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, (1), 368–382.


This study addresses the general protection of sites through the idea of preserving the “environment” as a functional whole. Within this broad framework, the text focuses on the meaning and goal of the so-called conservation areas. The first part examines how and when a holistic concept of protection emerged. The second part reviews the current state of affairs, while the third section develops an argument in favor of a holistic understanding of the environment based on interdisciplinary research and complex adaptive systems. The study emphasizes the pioneering impulses from 19th-century Central Europe for the protection of the style and “memory” of historical cities, the creation of nature reserves, the protection of landscape character, the democratization of conservationist initiatives, and the discussion about these initiatives’ motivations. It further argues that traditional environments, today preserved in conservation areas, differ starkly from unprotected areas in terms of these environments’ systemic qualities. Traditional environments have the natural qualities of living structures, which explains their attractiveness, making “preservation of life” the common goal of the entire conservation movement.


Albrecht, Josef (ed.). 2003. Chrán?ná území CR. VIII. Ceskobud?jovicko. Praha: Agentura ochrany p?írody a krajiny CR.

Alexander, Christopher; Ishikawa, Sara; Silverstein, Murray; Jacobson, Max; Fiksdahl-King, Ingrid; and Angel, Shlomo. 1977. A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press.

Alexander, Christopher. 2002-2005. The Nature of Order I–IV. Berkeley: The Center for Environmental Structure.

Bandarin, Francesco; and van Oers, Ron. 2012. The Historic Urban Landscape: Managing Heritage in an Urban Century. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bish, Joseph J. 2016. Population Growth in Africa: Grasping the Scale of the Challenge. The Guardian, January 11: (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Bohl, Charles C.; and Lejeune, Jean-François (eds.). 2009. Sitte, Hegemann and the Metropolis: Modern Civic Art and International Exchanges. London - New York: Routledge.

Borrmann, Norbert. 1989. Paul Schultze-Naumburg 1869–1949: Maler – Publizist – Architekt. Essen: Verlag Richard Bacht.

Calzolari, Vittoria. 1992. ?ím: Rehabilitace historického centra v rámci urbanistické politiky m?sta. In Novotná-Galardová, Alena; and Kratochvíl, Petr (eds.). Praha - budoucnost historického m?sta: 135-143. La Tour-d’Aigues - Paris: Éditions de l’Aube.

Charles, Prince of Wales. 2010. Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Culture-Nature Links. 2015. A monothematic issue of World Heritage, 75, April, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Davos Declaration. 2018. Davos Declaration: Towards a high-quality Baukultur for Europe. (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Diamond, Jared. 2005. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking Penguin.

Diamond, Jared. 2012. The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies? New York: Viking Penguin.

Eckardt, Götz (ed.). 1980. Schicksale deutscher Baudenkmale im zweiten Weltkrieg I–II. Berlin: Henschelverlag Kunst und Gesellschaft.

Erichsen, Johannes; and Puschner, Uwe (eds.). 1986. “Vorwärts, vorwärts sollst du schauen”: Gechichte, Politik und Kunst unter Ludwig I. – Aufsätze. München: Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte.

Geddes, Patrick. 1915. Cities in Evolution. London: Williams & Norgate.

Giovannoni, Gustavo. 1931. Vecchie citta? ed edilizia nuova. Torino: Unione tipografico-editrice torinese.

Glendinning, Miles. 2013. The Conservation Movement – A History of Architectural Preservation: Antiquity to Modernity. New York - Milton Park: Routledge.

Harari, Yuval Noah. 2016. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. London: Harvill Secker.

Hardy, Matthew (ed.). 2008. The Venice Charter Revisited: Modernism, Conservation and Tradition in the 21st Century. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hershey, George. 2001. The Monumental Impulse: Architecture’s Biological Roots. Cambridge, London: The MIT Press.

Horácek, Martin. 2013. Za krásnejší svet: Tradicionalismus v architekture 20. a 21. století / Toward a More Beautiful World: Traditionalism in Architecture of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Brno: Barrister & Principal – VUTIUM.

Hubatová-Vacková, Lada. 2011. Silent Revolutions in Ornament: Studies in Applied Arts and Crafts from 1880-1930. Prague: AAAD.

Jokilehto, Jukka. 1999. A History of Architectural Conservation. Oxford - Woburn, Massachusetts: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Kellert, Stephen R. 2005. Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection. Washington D. C.: Island Press.

Kohl, Jonathan M.; and McCool, Stephen F. 2017. The Future Has Other Plans: Planning Holistically to Conserve Natural and Cultural Heritage. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing.

Komárek, Stanislav. 2003. Mimicry, Aposematism and Related Phenomena: Mimetism in Nature and the History of Its Study. München: LINCOM.

Kretschmer, Frauke (ed.). 1988. Kriegschicksale deutscher Architektur I-II. Neumünster: Karl Wachholtz Verlag.

Mallgrave, Harry Francis; and Ikonomou, Eleftherios (eds.). 1994. Empathy, Form, and Space: Problems in German Aesthetics, 1873-1893. Santa Monica: Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities.

Mallgrave, Harry Francis. 2013. Architecture and Embodiment: The Implications of the New Sciences and Humanities to Design. New York, Milton Park: Routledge.

Mandelbrot, Benoît. 1983. The Fractal Geometry of Nature. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.

Mehaffy, Michael W.; and Salingaros, Nikos A. 2015. Design for a Living Planet. Portland: Sustasis Press.

Melissinos, Alexandre. 1992. Zkušenost chrán?ných francouzských oblastí. In Novotná-Galardová, Alena; and Kratochvíl, Petr (eds.). Praha - budoucnost historického m?sta: 179-191. La Tour-d’Aigues - Paris: Éditions de l’Aube.

Mora, Camilo; and Sale, Peter F. 2011. Ongoing global biodiversity loss and the need to move beyond protected areas: a review of the technical and practical shortcomings of protected areas on land and sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 434: 251-266, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Parker, Laura. 2017. New Ocean Reserve, Largest in Africa, Protects Whales and Turtles. National Geographic, June 5, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Parzinger, Hermann. 2016. Die Kinder des Prometheus: Eine Geschichte der Menschheit vor der Erfindung der Schrift. München: C. H. Beck.

Pinker, Steven. 2011. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. New York: Viking Books.

Premio Rafael Manzano. 2020. Rafael Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture. Website with PDF publications by García Hermida, Alejandro (ed.): (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Pretty, Jules; Adams, Bill; Berkes, Fikret; Ferreira de Athayde, Simone; Dudley, Nigel; Hunn, Eugene; Maffi, Luisa; Milton, Kay; Rapport, David; Robbins, Paul; Sterling, Eleanor; Stolton, Sue; Tsing, Anna; Vintinnerk, Erin; and Pilgrim, Sarah. 2009. The Intersections of Biological Diversity and Cultural Diversity: Towards Integration. Conservation and Society, vol. 7, 2: 100-112,;year=2009;volume=7;issue=2;spage=100;epage=112;aulast=Pretty (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Rampley, Matthew. 2013. The Vienna School of Art History: Empire and the Politics of Scholarship, 1847-1918. Old Main - University Park: Penn State University Press.

Rentzhog, Sten. 2007. Open Air Museums: The History and Future of a Visionary Idea. Östersund - Stockholm: Jamtli Förlag - Carlsson Bokförlag.

Riegl, Alois. 1903. Der moderne Denkmalkultus: Sein Wesen und seine Entstehung. Wien - Leipzig: W. Braumüller.

Rodwell, Dennis. 2007. Conservation and Sustainability in Historic Cities. Oxford - Malden, Massachusetts - Carlton: Blackwell Publishing.

Salingaros, Nikos A. 2006. A Theory of Architecture. Solingen: Umbau-Verlag.

Salingaros, Nikos A. 2013. Unified Architectural Theory: Form, Language, Complexity. Kathmandu: Vajra Books. Extended Czech/English edition by Horácek, Martin. 2017. Brno: VUTIUM – B&P Publishing.

Salingaros, Nikos A. 2017. Neuroscience and Preservation: Measuring the Healing Properties of Spaces. Preservation Leadership Forum, October 24, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Schultze-Naumburg, Paul. 1901-1917. Kulturarbeiten I–IX. München: Kunstwart.

Scott, Peter. 1966. The Eye of the Wind: An Autobiography. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Scott, Geoffrey. [1914] 1974. The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Semes, Steven W. 2009. The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation. New York: W. W. Norton.

Semes, Steven W. 2017. New Design in Old Cities: Gustavo Giovannoni on Architecture and Conservation. Change over Time, vol. VII, 2: 212-233.

Sitte, Camillo. [1889] 2003. Der Städtebau nach seinen künstlerischen Grundsätzen. Wien - Köln - Weimar: Böhlau (Camillo Sitte Gesamtausgabe 1).

Smith, Thomas Gordon. 2003. Vitruvius on Architecture. New York: The Monacelli Press.

Soukopova, Jitka. 2012. Round Heads: The Earliest Rock Paintings in the Sahara. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Steyn, Paul. 2016. African Elephant Numbers Plummet 30 Percent, Landmark Survey Finds. National Geographic, August 31, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Stubbs, John H. 2009. Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation. Hoboken: Wiley.

Stubbs, John H.; Thomson, Robert G. 2017. Architectural Conservation in Asia: National Experiences and Practice. Milton Park: Routledge.

Szmygin, Bogus?aw (ed.). 2011. Outstanding Universal Value and Monitoring of World Heritage Properties. Warsaw: National Heritage Board of Poland - ICOMOS Poland.

Szmygin, Bogus?aw (ed.). 2015a. Conservation Officer’s Handbook: International Standards in Cultural Heritage Protection. Warsaw: ICOMOS Poland, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Szmygin, Bogus?aw (ed.). 2015b. Heritage Value Assessment Systems: The Problems and the Current State of Research. Lublin - Warsaw: Lublin University of Technology - ICOMOS Poland, (consulted on 02/09/2020).

Tagliaventi, Gabriele (ed.). 1996. A Vision of Europe: Rinascimento Urbano / Urban Renaissance / Renaissance Urbaine. Bologna: Grafis Edizioni.

Tagliaventi, Gabriele; and Bucci, Alessandro. 2009. The Guide of Eco-Efficient Cities / Le guide des eco-villes efficientes / La guida delle eco-città efficienti. Firenze: Alinea Editrice.

Thompson, D’Arcy Wentworth. 1917. On Growth and Form. Cambridge: University Press.

Tung, Anthony Max. 2001. Preserving the World’s Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Wilson, Edward O. 1984. Biophilia: The Human Bond with Other Species. Cambridge, Massachusetts - London: Harvard University Press.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2020 Martin Horácek


Download data is not yet available.