"Urban heritage, including its tangible and intangible components, constitutes a key resource in enhancing the liveability of urban areas, and fosters economic development and social cohesion in a changing global environment. As the future of humanity hinges on the effective planning and management of resources, conservation has become a strategy to achieve a balance between urban growth and quality of life on a sustainable basis."
The knowledge and experience on HUL Recommendation is growing, you can make use of available resources.
The HUL approach
The HUL Recommendation does not replace existing doctrines or conservation approaches; rather, it is an additional tool to integrate policies and practices of conservation of the built environment into the wider goals of urban development in respect of the inherited values and traditions of different cultural contexts.
The HUL Recommendation is a “soft law” to be implemented by Member States on a voluntary basis. In order to facilitate implementation, the UNESCO General Conference recommended that Member States take the appropriate steps to:
- adapt this new instrument to their specific contexts;
- disseminate it widely across their national territories;
- facilitate implementation through formulation and adoption of supporting policies; and to
- monitor its impact on the conservation and management of historic cities.
- Learn more about the HUL Call for Action.
- Consult New life for historic cities: The historic urban landscape approach explained and the HUL Bibliography.
- Read the publications Culture: urban future; global report on culture for sustainable urban development and Swahili Historic Urban Landscapes.
- Visit World Heritage Canopy to consult case studies on the implementation of the HUL Recommendation.
- Browse the World Heritage Review on Urban Heritage.
The HUL Recommendation does not stand alone in the protection and management of historic cities throughout the world. Its implementation is closely linked to other tools and strategies developed by the United Nations, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, and the World Heritage Convention.
- SDG 11, Target 11.4 highlights the importance of cultural and natural heritage for making safe and resilient cities. The New Urban Agenda underlines the need for integrated approaches to urban sustainability.
- The Historic Urban Landscape approach addresses the policy, governance and management concerns involving a variety of stakeholders, including local, national, regional, international, public and private actors in the urban development process.
- Having one foot on the Sustainable Development Goal, Target 11.4, and the other on the New Urban Agenda (UN-Habitat), the HUL Recommendation addresses relevant urban issues for the historic urban areas. There are important interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda (UN-Habitat) and UNESCO’s Culture Conventions.
- The World Heritage Cities Programme is one of six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by the World Heritage Committee. The programme uses the approach of the HUL Recommendation as a tool to reconcile conservation and development in urban World Heritage properties.
- To learn more, visit
- International Experts Meeting - Heritage in Urban Contexts: Impacts of Development Projects on World Heritage properties in Cities
- Fukuoka Outcomes - 8 step-methodology for the implementation of the HUL Recommendation in World Heritage Cities
- World Heritage City Lab – Management of World Heritage Cities
- Urban sites and historic cities in particular are facing unique challenges related to the risks caused by climate change. Over 90% of all urban areas are coastal, putting most cities on Earth at risk of flooding from rising sea levels and powerful storms. Historic cities are particularly at risk because many of them developed, for historical reasons, along the coast or along major rivers. With rising temperatures and accompanying sea-level rise, the risk of climate change-related disasters is increasing in historic and World Heritage cities.
- The HUL Recommendation is a key tool to help cities to tackle climate action. It presents an integrated, people-centred and landscape approach to urban management, where climate action, DDR, urban development, and energy transition initiatives integrated with heritage conservation and management strategies.