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3 questions to... Alexandre de Resende
Thursday 06 April 2017

For the first one of our soon-to-become regular "3 questions to..." series of articles, we offered Alexandre de Resende, from the Serra Henriques Foundation to say a few words about his structure and stress the links which unite us on cultural matters.

Can you introduce us your Foundation and its missions in terms of your engagement for culture and at European level?

The Serra Henriques Foundation has pursued its mission for twenty years in the national and European level and its operating structure is divided in two intertwined units: Education and Culture, Cooperation and Development and both are seen as a social responsibility and a commitment. Culture is already inscribed in the core of territories' policies for inclusive development but it needs new means of articulation and governance models that are not only efficient at different scales but able to fill the gap between European institutions, local authorities, the communities and the institutions that work with them directly on a regular basis.

You are one of our partners for "La Rencontre of Lisboa" which will mainly focus on cooperation for the development of cultural policies on local territories and Europe. What is your point of view about cooperation and why did you choose to be partner?

This summit in Lisboa will be a strategic stage to strengthen cooperation ties between Europeans. While representing the interests of LIKE network in Portugal and being one of the Foundation´s main goals the study of sustainable architecture and urban planning in the promotion of economic and social progress in an inclusive way, we have witnessed the enthusiastic work of the Portuguese municipalities working with their peers in cultural dossiers. Within this domain and while being also an operating partner for the implementation of the National Architecture and Landscape Policy, we collaborate with national and local authorities in the dissemination of territorial policies and the exchange of best practices for regional development and cohesion.

Foundation Serra Henriques has an editorial line for architecture editions and has created in 2012 the academic National Architecture and Urbanism Award (Archiprix Portugal), in partnership with the Archiprix Foundation (Netherlands), the Portuguese Universities, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the Order of Architects, the Association of Urban Planners and the Docomomo International Committee. Presently we are organizing in Portugal the Iberian Award for Traditional Architecture – Rafael Manzano – in collaboration with the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), under the patronage of its founder, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, His Excellency The President of Portugal and supported by the Richard Driehaus Trust. This initiative will promote the continuity of tradition in architecture and protect cultural landscapes/heritage for sustainable growth.

You are a member of our network since longtime and you are also very involved in networking's development. What does networking brings you as a cultural foundation and how do you develop it?

We believe that being part of this network will be crucial for the development of our cities and regions. It is never enough to repeat that Culture is not only about performing arts as it walks hand-in-hand with the so-called 'informal education'. Cultural richness is largely based on diversity along with its modern and traditional means of expression. But we're mostly talking about the values, principles and objectives that brings this network together. We're talking about cultural identities as the sum of all those expressions and the way people live and how they relate between themselves. Culture is an ending in itself but also the tool, for the careful choice of cultural policies and their efficient relation with the territories could achieve the integrated development and the improvement of the populations' welfare all look for. We are sure that being part of this network will allow spotlighting exclusive opportunities in the regions and accelerate more cohesive and inclusive economies based on their unique potential.

We would like to thank hugely A. de Resende for his answers. We are delighted to collaborate with him and Serra Henriques Foundation since many years and we are honoured to have the Foundation as a partner for our Rencontre of Lisboa