Last edited 02 Jan 2022

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Institute of Historic Building Conservation Institute / association Website

Managing Historic Cities: World Heritage Papers 27

Managing Historic Cities: World Heritage Papers 27, Edited by Ron van Oers and Sachiko Haraguchi, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 2010, English and French, 254 pages, black and white and colour illustrations.


UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape Initiative (HUL) was launched in 2005 to raise awareness of the need to safeguard historic cities by widening the context for conservation and development beyond the limited protection offered by conservation areas or ‘special districts’. The impetus had come from a perception that pressures ranging from increased traffic and tourism, high-rise development and functional changes were rapidly threatening the authenticity and integrity of historic cities and their urban landscapes.

The 10 papers included in this volume, written for presentation at expert meetings organised under the HUL initiative, explore new frameworks for managing historic cities. They informed a Recommendation which was adopted by UNESCO in 2011, and is set out in the document New Life for Historic Cities: the historic urban landscape approach explained. This states, somewhat loftily, that ‘The Historic Urban Landscape approach moves beyond the preservation of the physical environment and focuses on the entire human environment with all of its tangible and intangible qualities. It seeks to increase the sustainability of planning and design interventions by taking into account the existing built environment, intangible heritage, cultural diversity, socio-economic and environmental factors along with local community values’.


This article originally appeared in Context 140, published by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) in July 2015.

--Institute of Historic Building Conservation

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