The Management Plan for the World Heritage Sites as a Tool of Performance Measurement and Sustainability Reporting: Opportunities and Limits in the Italian Context

  • Francesco BadiaEmail author


The attention to the management plan for the preservation and development of World Heritage Sites has grown in recent years, especially since the publication of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention in 2005. The Operational Guidelines outlined in detail the contents and requirements of the management plan, which was first introduced in their 1994 version. In Italy, the national government recognized the importance of the management plan through the definition of specific guidelines and a road map for the implementation of these documents on the Italian World Heritage Sites. This process can be considered very relevant also from an international perspective, since Italy is the most represented country on the World Heritage List, with its 53 sites in 2017. Regarding Italian World Heritage Sites, the realization of the management plan has produced conflicting results so far. On the one hand, this process provided an opportunity to think strategically about the conditions of preservation and development for the World Heritage managers. On the other hand, in many cases, the adoption of management plans did not comply with the expected outcomes, due to a poor adhesion of implementation procedures to the requirements proposed by the guidelines (national and international) and a nearly absent participatory involvement of the community. However, the strategic thinking arising from management plans can lead to the development of concepts such as performance measurement and sustainability reporting for the World Heritage Sites. In this field, performance measurement consists of the implementation of indicators to assess and monitor the results of preservation and development systems, whereas sustainability reporting expresses the necessity to be accountable about these results in regard to external stakeholders, especially the community, and can be usefully connected to the performance measurement system. This chapter aims at developing the opportunities of a proper implementation process for a management plan, focusing on the dimensions of performance measurement and sustainability reporting. At the same time, it analyzes the empirical difficulties for the accomplishment of this process, which have been collected through the observation of different actual realizations of management plans, with reference to the Italian situation.


Management plan Italian World Heritage Performance measurement Sustainability reporting 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Management and Business LawUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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