Ballarat and UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Approach


Ballarat and UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape Approach

In September 2013 Ballarat became the first city to become part of an international pilot program to implement UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL).

Ballarat is implementing the Historic Urban Landscape approach through a strategic cooperation agreement with the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITR-AP).

This is a crucial step to ensure future growth and change in Ballarat is managed in a more holistic and inclusive way, with a commitment to incorporating HUL knowledge and research into future planning and development strategies.

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About HULTop of document.

UNESCO FacadesAbout UNESCO's Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)

The Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape was adopted on 10 November 2011 by UNESCO’s General Conference.

UNESCO's approach to managing historic urban landscapes is holistic and integrates the goals of urban heritage conservation with those of social and economic development and local community values. This method sees urban heritage as a social, cultural and economic asset for the development of cities.

The keys to understanding and managing a historic urban landscape are:

  • Recognising a city is not static but is subject to forces that shaped and continue to shape it
  • Understanding that heritage, economic, environment and cultural approaches do not conflict but are complementary, and their long-term success is dependent on them linking together
  • Utilising urban heritage as a catalyst for development through tourism and commercial use which contributes to higher land and property values
  • Reinvesting revenues to further maintenance and restoration
  • Success of strategies results in a strengthened “sense of place” and a balance between heritage preservation and development

Click here to view UNESCO's brochure 'New life for historic cities: The historic urban landscape approach explained' 

Why Ballarat signed on to the HUL Pilot Program

Regardless of their size or history cities across the world are dealing with fundamentally similar challenges and issues; being part of the pilot program enables Ballarat to tap into best practice expertise and global city experiences.
Ballarat believes the HUL can help the city grow without compromising its heritage; by providing a road map on how to address change without losing Ballarat’s character.
UNESCO’s values-based approach involves working collaboratively with communities; the HUL recommendation clearly acknowledges the significant and essential role Local Governments play in protecting and enhancing the urban landscape.

The League of Historical Cities (LHC):

The City of Ballarat is aware of many of the issues facing local level governments around the world.  Ballarat has been a member of the LHC since 1998 and a member of its Board of Directors since 2006, the year it hosted the 10th League of Historical Cities World Conference.

Click here to find out more about the LHC.