PREVIEW | International Conference on Urban Heritage
  PublishDate:2023-09-25  Hits:651

International Conference on 

Urban Heritage Conservation and Design 

for Sustainable Development


International Network for Urban Heritage Conservation 

in Higher Education Institutions

(Online & Offline)


September 26
14:30-18:00 and 19:00-22:00 Beijing Time (UTC+8)

September 27
9:00-12:00, 14:30-18:15, 20:00-21:00 Beijing Time (UTC+8)

Auditorium at Former Lester Institute of Technical Education,
Wenyuan Building (3rd Floor) at Tongji University,
Zoom Rooms

Meeting Room Number: 827 7914 8456
Password: 654321

The conference will be bilingual of Chinese and English with simultaneous interpretation. A brief synthesis will be published online on the WHIRTAP website.


As the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), both advocate the importance of culture and heritage as key components to foster new approaches for more sustainable and qualitative development, the responsibility we face is to further explore the “how to” implement and invent these new approaches to strengthening competency and capacity and achieving an innovative and inclusive design that recognizes heritage values and traditional knowledge, which provide solutions.

Achieving sustainability through heritage, particularly in the area of urban and rural development, means acquiring new skills and linking different disciplines for a shared purpose of progress. It means inventing new types of research and education models, considering traditional knowledge and AI. This gives universities unprecedented opportunities to go beyond the disciplines and skills traditionally used in the domain of conservation. It also gives them increasing responsibility to explore new connections between culture, heritage and disciplines in other fields of knowledge, with the ultimate purpose to integrate the old to build the new. It challenges higher education institutions to reflect on acknowledging other forms of knowledge production, transmission, and audiences.

Universities and higher education institutions have the responsibility to continue their historic role as key players. They have the responsibility of training new talents as well as developing cutting-edge research with the potential to profoundly transform our environment. Higher education enables the fostering of new ways of thinking and the discussion of new practices, whatever the discipline or field. Furthermore, and as a consequence of their nature as universal forums, universities facilitate participation among stakeholders and promote diversity in society as a fundamental prerequisite for the transmission of heritage. Whether cultural or natural, tangible or intangible, threatened or well cared for, there is a crucial and ever-growing need for qualified professionals to identify, protect, defend, conserve, and manage heritage, as well as to develop advanced interdisciplinary research and innovative practices that fosters wise policy and decision making at all levels.

As a leading higher education institution in China and globally, Tongji University, especially the Tongji University CAUP is committed to educating future leaders for building sustainable development in the fields of architecture, urban and rural planning, landscape design based on heritage conservation and inheritance. In addition, WHITRAP’s mandate is to serve the States Parties of the World Heritage Convention and other Member States of UNESCO to promote the conservation and development of World Heritage in the Asia and the Pacific Region, with a focus on promoting the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and advocating for the integration of urban heritage conservation with urban development in planning processes in Asia and the Pacific.

Conference Theme

The past decades have witnessed a major paradigm shift. Our understanding of heritage, its values and functions, has fundamentally evolved, and so has our understanding of the relationship between development and conservation. 50 years +1 after the adoption by UNESCO of the World Heritage Convention, 20 years after the Intangible Heritage Convention, 10 years +2 after that of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, and almost 10 years after the adoption of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, heritage, even though still under threat, is now understood as a solution. It is a means to improve liveability and social harmony, as well as to address the impact of the key challenges humanity is struggling with, such as climate change, environmental degradation, migration, inequality, and post-crisis recovery.

Conference Objectives

With a particular focus on the 2011 UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) Recommendation, this conference will enable international experts to explore such theoretical trends and innovative practices on urban heritage conservation, to discuss how heritage as a solution can improve liveability, and to present design examples that promote a more holistic approach to urban development. The aim is to showcase projects and initiatives where conservation and development have been successfully integrated.

Although universities and higher education institutions are already involved in research and organizing conferences and meetings on urban heritage and conservation through a variety of national or international networks, there is room to further discuss higher education itself, what are the experiences, practices, objectives, and outcomes. To this end, Tongji University and WHITRAP Shanghai would like to discuss the establishment of an “International Network for Urban Heritage Conservation in Higher Education Institutions” to further reflect and act to develop capacity and competency in the field of heritage and sustainable development. Given the common interest in the topic, the conference is an opportunity to identify areas of cooperation and define several topics of interest that each of the institutions would aim to contribute to the Network.

Conference Agenda


September 26



September 27



Please scan the QR code below to download the Conference Booklet in PDF format.

Copyright © 2009-2012 World Heritage Institute of Training and Research-Asia and Pacific (shanghai)