Tlaxcala Declaration on the Revitalization of Small Settlements (1982)

Third Inter-American Symposium on the Conservation of Building Heritage/ ICOMOS Mexico

The Declaration recognizes that small settlements bear witness to our cultures and emphasizes the local and national governments' responsibility to help preserve smaller settlements and stem migration to urban centers. The Declaration recognizes the rights of local communities to be involved in decisions regarding their towns and villages. The Declaration notes the destructive influence of the communications media in introducing patterns of behavior and consumption that are contrary to tradition. It asserts that preserving settlements must also involve bettering conditions for residents to encourage the revitalization of communities. Conservation efforts must be interdisciplinary and social service and infrastructure improvements should be introduced with sensitivity, taking into account local values and traditions. The Declaration recommends that regional materials and traditional building techniques are essential to the maintenance of small settlements. It recommends the government grants to protect dwellings in small settlements, which would ensure both the continuation of the building heritage and affordable housing. It also encourages schools of architecture to initiate courses in conservation of the vernacular architectural heritage and in traditional building techniques.