Stedelijk werelderfgoed en de Historic Urban Landscape-benadering in Nederland | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2468-2187
  • E-ISSN: 2468-2195


Urban World Heritage and the approach in the Netherlands

Within the category of cultural landscapes on the UNESCO World Heritage List the ‘continuing urban landscapes’ are a small but interesting group of sites. This group consists of urban and suburban areas (‘urban landscapes’) with outstanding historical and heritage values, while at the same time they are characterized by a high degree of spatial dynamics. Many developments take place that lead to change of the environment. Rio de Janeiro, the mining landscape of Nord-Pas de Calais and the Italian Amalfi coast near Naples are examples of these urban cultural landscapes on the World Heritage List. Next to these sites, there are urban World Heritage sites that formally are no cultural landscapes, but have similar characteristics. Historical city centers of Rome or Bruges, the Amsterdam canal ring or Speicherstadt in Hamburg are comparably stretched out and have comparable values. These sites are confronted with similar challenges with respect to conservation and management of change. The obligation to preserve the outstanding universal value of the site could become under pressure. This surely is the case in some urban and suburban World Heritage sites in the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Amsterdam Canal Ring, Defence Line of Amsterdam and Willemstad, Curaçao. The World Heritage status requires a strict management of the site. UNESCO’S Historic Urban Landscape approach can be helpful to make preservation and development compatible. In this article the opportunities and dilemmas of the HUL and ICOMOS’S role in it are discussed. A stronger emphasize on HUL when reviewing developments in urban World Heritage sites is advocated.


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