TERRITORIAL EXPLORATION TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATION ON HISTORIC URBAN LANDSCAPES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AREA OF EL EJIDO IN CUENCA, ECUADOR
Cuenca in Ecuador is a growing city, weak in the face of the changes that the expansion phenomenon implies. The area of El Ejido was the first expansion area of the city with valuable samples of the arrival of modernity in the city. Nowadays, this sector is not exempted from the effects of urban growth and deserves to be managed through a proper management plan for its preservation. Degraded landscapes have been identified, modern heritage architecture shows clear symptoms of abandonment and low maintenance, causing the disappearance of historic buildings. Given these and other problems associated with urban development, Cuenca, like other cities, has taken the initiative of adopting the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) adopted by UNESCO in 2011, as a measure to safeguard urban heritage. In 2014, the implementation of this relatively new approach was first initiated in the pilot area of the Historic City Centre of Cuenca. This area was included in the World Heritage List in 1999 based on criteria II, IV, and V.However, aware of the significant heritage values embedded at El Ejido and its close urban and landscape link with the Historical City Center, the aim of this research is the implementation of the HUL’s approach in a specific area located in El Ejido. Due to the clear difference between this sector and the Historical City Center, it is necessary to assess the first methodology used and work on a methodology that can be extrapolated to this sector and further on to other sectors of the city. To obtain the methodology for this area, it is essential to carry out a territorial exploration in cities with similar characteristics to Cuenca that are implementing an approach based on the study of the Historical Urban Landscape Recommendation.