European municipal alliance to preserve and protect iconic commerceA European municipal alliance has been created with Paris, Rome and Lisbon for the preservation and protection of iconic shops and businesses, through shared governance headed by local governments. During the first International Meeting on Iconic Shops in European Cities, the Barcelona Declaration was signed on the preservation and promotion of iconic shops and businesses, recognising the decisive role of local governments in protecting and valuing establishments, and noting the need for alliances at a local level.
Government measures and special plans need to be in place to achieve these goals, helping to recognise the importance of these establishments, their protection and conservation. These measures must also promote them, make them economically feasible, conserve their heritage and their commercial purpose.
Iconic shops and businesses must take part in jointly creating municipal policies on local commerce, ensuring their competitiveness and making progress in their professionalisation and digitalisation of this sector.
The intention is also to create an international charter to determine what constitutes an iconic or singular establishment, and to define different types with the corresponding cultural and heritage protection levels.
This new governance must pursue the following goals:
- Incentivise the protection, conservation and heritage value of iconic shops and businesses: through recognition of iconic establishments as a category in the legal framework to protect heritage, the promotion of a census and listings, and the development of mechanisms for technical assistance, funding for renovation and conservation and instruments to protect and safeguard tangible and intangible heritage.
- Disseminate the unique and commercial role of iconic shops and businesses: from a local perspective, promotion and support is needed for networks between iconic commerce to develop joint work which helps generate feasibility strategies now and in the future.
- Work between cities with a commitment to iconic shops and businesses: creation of an international network to support the exchange of experiences, build an alliance and promote a shared roadmap within this framework, with the support of European and international institutions.
An annual action plan will be developed to move towards the goals in the declaration, assessing the goals achieved by each of the measures promoted.