Knowledge is power: monitoring the world heritage site of Amsterdam: a policy analysis

J.A.C. Bruin, R.H.J. Bennink, A.R. Pereira Roders, L. Veldpaus

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World Heritage Cities, like other cities, need to be able to evolve to meet the needs of their current and future citizens. This requires both socio-economic and urban development. The challenge lies in finding a balance between this need for development and the need to safeguard the cultural significance of urban heritage.The recently adopted UNESCO recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) aims to assist in finding this balance between development and conservation by providing guidance in the implementation of a so-called landscape-based approach. This comprehensive approach consists of six steps (A-F), this paper reflects on an investigation into the workings of the first step, 'mapping the cities natural, cultural and human resources', by looking at the World Heritage City of Amsterdam as a case study. Making use of, and as such testing, a recently developed framework based on the HUL and the evolution of global heritage policies leading to HUL, the current state of spatial and heritage policy in Amsterdam will be assessed, uncovering the possible gaps in resource mapping as recommended by HUL. This will add to the discussion whether or not the current policies in Amsterdam are accurate and detailed enough to manage their World Heritage Site, by the standards of the HUL. It will show to what degree Amsterdam's heritage policies comply with the HUL. It is revealed that Amsterdam maps both tangible and intangible resources, without distinguishing resources of cultural significance and factors that affect the property. Resources are mapped reactively on a need-base. The tangible resources are predominantly mapped on the level of the object, while the intangible resources are exclusively oriented towards functionality and society.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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