UNESCO, World Heritage, and Sustainable Development: International Discourses and Local Impacts

Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)


This chapter discusses whether and how World Heritage properties contribute to sustainable development. It starts with analysis of the text of the World Heritage Convention, in which the relationship between heritage and development is expressed in multiple and sometimes contradictory ways. This chapter identifies three perspectives: heritage conservation opposed to development, heritage conservation as sustainability, and heritage conservation as community development. The second section identifies when and how World Heritage began to be officially associated with sustainable development. The Budapest Declaration in 2002 was a milestone, as was the 2012 request from the World Heritage Committee to prepare a draft policy on the integration of sustainable development into the framework of the World Heritage Convention. Finally, case studies of the World Heritage sites of Luang Prabang (Laos) and Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom) highlight the difficulties and issues associated with implementing sustainable development on the ground.


UNESCO World heritage Sustainable development Luang Prabang Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Kent, SECLCanterburyUK

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