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Volume 2 Supplement 4

Historic Urban Landscape: An Approach to Rethinking Urban Heritage

The Historic Urban Landscape and the Metropolis


The Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) recommendation adopted by UNESCO in 2011 provides a holistic approach based on landscape planning principles. It is in line with the International Guidelines for Urban and Territorial Planning adopted by UN-Habitat in 2015 (UN-Habitat 2015). HUL concerns the integration of culture in territorial planning processes and the historical urban centre inside their urban or city context. Large cities are becoming the dominant pattern of the human settlements worldwide. They are the main engine of economic development, attracting people for jobs, creating the highest values and are the main support for the globalisation process. The 21st century is the era of the metropolis, with a large increase of cities of more than 500,000 inhabitants. The heritage of the 21st century will be building through the metropolis. We can consider the metropolis as an artefact of the humankind. It produces large urban–rural systems supported by large infrastructures, iconic buildings and specific facilities. The upgrading of the main characteristics of the metropolis adds value in cities for the quality of life, creating new heritage at a scale greater than the existing world heritage categories. HUL could be extended as a relevant approach to be applied on the metropolitan scale.


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Correspondence to Eric Huybrechts.

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Huybrechts, E. The Historic Urban Landscape and the Metropolis. Built Heritage 2, 20–30 (2018).

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