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LDE Living (World) Heritage Cities


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Key words:

Skills: Research, active discussion, academic writing.

Topics: Urban conservation and World Heritage, tools (Heritage Impact Assessment, Heritage Development Model), changes and challenges to Living World Heritage Cities.

Disciplines: Urban conservation and World Heritage, tools (Heritage Impact Assessment, Heritage Development Model), changes and challenges to Living World Heritage Cities.


With the majority of people living in cities and the number of urban dwellers increasing each day, national and international policies are directed towards stimulating livability and a sustainable future for life in the city. The origin of a large number of metropoles in the world extends way back. Their inner city follows ancient waterways and roads; buildings and other structures are original or make use of foundations of predecessors. We as modern city dwellers live in an environment that to a large extent depends on decisions made by previous generations. But modern city life constantly asks for adaptations. The internal dynamics of the city changes the appearance and functions of the city in a fast pace.

Especially in the case of World Heritage cities, these adaptations are significant. Numerous tourists, eager to experience the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ of the place, require accommodation, food, entertainment and souvenirs. Developers are looking to buy historical buildings and convert them into hotels and tourist shops. Traffic constantly puts the old and narrow streets under pressure. Inhabitants increasingly move out of the city, into less gentrified outer zones. Slowly, the character of the city changes. While the core and buffer zones of the site were once enlisted as World Heritage because of both the integrity of the cities’ parts and authenticity of its functions, now these are exactly the elements that are under threat (with the ultimate risk of ‘de-listing’). The desire to assign World Heritage status to living cities often overshadows the awareness of the implications this would have for the city and its inhabitants. It also raises the question as to whether it is possible to find a balance between an authentic and a dynamic city life?

Course objectives:

In the Honours Class ‘Living World Heritage Cities’ we will look at different issues related to (World) heritage cities. It is an explicit aim of this class to explore the historical development and heritage of cities and ask: What is ‘living heritage?’ Can studying the diversity of long-term urban traditions effectively inform design for sustainable urban futures? Who are the stakeholders and how are they involved in new developments? We will be looking at research and projects conducted all over the globe. Topics may range from Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to place-making, and from landscape biography to urban resilience.

“Living (World) Heritage Cities” aims to shed new light on these issues by combining insights, concepts and research methods from history and archaeology, geography and the social sciences, and planning and design (architecture, landscape design and urban planning).

Programme and timetable:

Fridays 15-17 hrs.

  • 21 February: Lecture Course introduction & Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados) by dr. Maaike de Waal (Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University);

  • 6 March: Lecture (title to be announced) by Ilaria Rosetti (Faculty of Design Sciences, department of Heritage, University of Antwerp);

  • 13 March: Lecture Heritage and Design by dr. Marie Therese van Thoor or dr. Ivan Nevzgodin (Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology);

  • 20 March: Lecture Managing Change. Heritage Impact Assessment, a Tool for Sustainable Development by drs. Mara de Groot (LDE Centre for Global Heritage and Development, Leiden University);

  • 3 April: Heritage Development Model (HDM) by Gerco Meijer (bunkerQ, office for heritage development, restoration and architecture);

  • 17 April: Lecture (title to be announced) by dr. Christian Ernsten (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University; not confirmed);

  • 24 April: Full day excursion by dr. Linde Egberts (destination and literature to be announced; excursion has not yet been confirmed, may be replaced by lecture or other instruction form); (CLUE+ research institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).


Faculty of Archaeology, Van Steenis building
Einsteinweg 2 2333 CC Leiden
Lecture room: to be announced

Reading list:

  • Meurs, P., 2016, Heritage-based Design. TU Delft - Heritage & Architecture;

  • Inniss, T., 2012, Heritage and communities in a small island developing state: Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, Barbados. In A. Galla (Ed), World Heritage: Benefits Beyond Borders: 69-81. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (doi:10.1017/CBO9781139567657.010);

  • Cameron, E., R. Engelhardt, D. Lung, A. Rogers and J. Van Den Bergh, 2012, Heritage Impact Assessment of the Swiftlet Industry in Melaka and George Town: Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca And its impact on Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Property;

  • Meijer, G., 2017, HDM, the Heritage Development Model by bunkerQ ®. In: Vileikis, O. (ed), World Heritage Theory, Policy and Practice, International Conference Proceedings, BTU Cottbus--Senftenberg 2017, 146-158;

  • Meijer, G., 2018, Application of the Heritage Development Model. In:Proceedings of ICOFORT International Conference in Hikone Oct 23-26, 2018.

Other possible literature will be announced in the course outline, that will be shared in class and via blackboard. The literature will be sent to you by we-transfer, before the start of the course.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Lectures: 6 lectures of 2 hours (attendance is mandatory);

  • Excursion: 1 all-day excursion (attendance is mandatory);

  • Literature reading & practical work: 10 hours p/week /50 hours;

  • Assignments & final essay: 70 hours.

Assessment methods:

The assessment methods will look as follows:

This course demands active participation, not only during the lectures and the excursion but also during short online assignments (both group and individual assignments). During the course, we will join our forces to critically reflect on a draft article (for a peer-reviewed journal) related to the topic of the course. Through the assignments students will be asked to reflect on/critically review articles, to outline topics of special interest for our communal article based on the lectures, excursion and literature studied, to write a short text that could be used for a draft article and to review each other’s contributions.

  • 10% participation assessed continually through participation during lectures and excursion;

  • 40% four short online assignments (10% each);

  • 50% final assignment: creating a draft text fragment (ca. 500 words). Deadline: 15 May 2020.

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the Class.
Evaluation rubrics for all assignments will be posted on blackboard at the start of the course.

Please note: attendance is compulsory.

Students could only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.

Registration process:

Enrolling in this course is possible from Monday the 4th of November up to and including Thursday the 14th of November until 23:59 o'clock through the Honours Academy. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the Bachelor Honours Class.


Dr. Maaike de Waal :