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Bruges (Belgium), May 31st - June 1st, 2012

Tourism Bruges © Jan Darthet

Challenges and Opportunities for the Conservation and Management of Urban Heritage

Today, the World Heritage List counts more than 260 cities. In fact, almost 40% of all World Heritage sites are located in urban areas.


These dynamic urban environments are increasingly confronted with various pressures and contemporary interventions which could affect the Outstanding Universal Value. Still, in some cases, these developments can be considered necessary. As a result, a World Heritage recognition is sometimes perceived as a constraint that prevents cities from adapting to the needs of the 21st century.


Basically, today’s World Heritage Cities need to deal with a fundamental dilemma:


How is it possible to sustain the functions of a contemporary World Heritage city without affecting the elements that convey its

Outstanding Universal Value?


To find an answer to this question, the city of Bruges and the Government of Flanders are inviting local governments, site-managers and other stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the conservation and management of World Heritage Cities in a two-day colloquium on May 31st and June 1st, 2012 in Bruges, Belgium.


We are looking forward to seeing you in Bruges!



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