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World Heritage City Lab – Management of World Heritage Cities

13-14 December 2021
© UNESCO | Francesco Bandarin

A World Heritage City Lab was held from 13 to 14 December 2021, organised by the World Heritage Centre in collaboration with the Committee for the state preservation of historical and cultural monuments of the City of Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.

This online innovation laboratory, supporting the appropriate management of World Heritage cities, was planned in the context of the 30th Anniversary of the inscription of the "Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments" on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and in the framework of the 10th Anniversary of the Historic Urban Landscape Recommendation.

The event

The conference discusseded the development of a general guidance on management systems and governance for World Heritage cities contributing to the implementation of the HUL Recommendation. Moreover, the management systems and governance matters could probably address the 2018 Warsaw Recommendation on Recovery and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage.

Lectures by senior experts were accompanied by presentations of selected case studies, which aimed to illustrate the diverse examples of management systems and practices for recovery, reconstruction, protection, management and sustainable development in World Heritage cities. The attention was particularly focused on the implementation of HUL Recommendation to address the integration of heritage conservation with sustainable development. In this view, therefore, expert debates revolving around the future of World Heritage cities offered an exceptional chance to explore cross-cutting approaches, inspiring the definition of holistic governance frameworks for urban heritage.

The main thematic areas explored by this two-day event were:

  • Governance;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Impact Assessment;
  • Contribution of World Heritage to Sustainable Urban Development.

With a view to mark the 30th anniversary of the inscription of 3 sites, the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments, Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, and Kizhi Pogost on the World Heritage List, short films will also be prepared and shared (subtitles in English/French) on each of the sites, and from the perspective of their urban management and the HUL Recommendation.

As a result of the "World Heritage City Lab- Management of UNESCO World Heritage Cities" the city of Saint Petersburg in particular, as well as any other cities and practitioners attending the City Lab, learned from other historic city management examples that will serve as a reference when (re)developing their own Management Plans.

The main takeaways of the World Heritage City Lab were also presented as a wrap up to the event after its conclusion.

Concept note and agenda

Download the concept note and agenda

Watch the conference

Day 1 


Day 2 



Activities 3

Monday, 13 December 2021
Tuesday, 14 December 2021

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