Urban Heritage Strategies course

Urban development and heritage management
Picture of city scape Nijmegen

General information

Duration2 x 8 days
DatesSee below under course components
Tuition feeEUR 3500,-*



IHS application deadline  

30 April 2023

Admissions information

Requirements and application procedure

Course information and questionsadmission@ihs.nl

Abbreviation code

UHS 2023

Course coordinators

Alonso Ayala, Elina Makousiari &  Remco Vermeulen

Jean-Paul Corten

Ana Pereira-Roders

* Please note that for EU participants, the VAT of 21% will apply. The tuition fee stated above is excluding the VAT.

Course components


Part I

Part II





8 days

8 days


7 - 16 June 2023

26 July - 4 August 2023


64 hours

64 hours


8 hours

8 hours


Lectures, discussions, assignments

Field excursions, symposium, group work


This Urban Heritage and Strategies short course consists of two parts. Part I is offered remotely (online) in June 2023. Part II is scheduled to take place on campus (on-site) in the Netherlands in July-August 2023.

Urban heritage professionals from any country can apply for this course. However, the Dutch government provides a full tuition fee waiver for selected participants from countries with partnerships on heritage conservation with the Netherlands that are selected, as well as for selected applicants from the Netherlands. Admitted candidates will receive additional information on how to apply for the waiver. Please see the list of countries below.

UHS post-graduate diploma is obtained after the successful completion of part I and part II.

  • Australia
  • Belgium/Flanders
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Morocco
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

In cities around the world, built heritage is under pressure from either over- or under-development. Meanwhile, we may observe that heritage plays an increasingly important role in the present-day city. It reflects an image of the city, reveals stories about its past and gives character and human scale to the city. If managed properly, heritage can effectively contribute to urban quality and serve as a vital asset for future development.

This year’s course is designed around the case study of the city of Nijmegen, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Among the different challenges this heritage city is facing, four main challenges have been selected in close collaboration with the Nijmegen municipality. Each of the selected challenges is connected to a particular neighbourhood in the historic city centre, and to the four core concepts of the Urban Heritage Strategies curriculum: economics, social aspects, environment and culture.

Urban Heritage Strategies (UHS) aims to develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between urban development and heritage management. UHS develops your capacity in terms of cognitive knowledge and practical skills to perform the management of historic urban cores. It also stimulates the exchange of experience with your fellow participants and encourages you to expand your professional network.

More about the case study of Nijmegen

Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, with its origins tracing back to Roman times. It is located in the east of the country, close to the border with Germany, directly on the south bank of the river Waal. The rich history of Nijmegen can be found in its urban fabric, from the Stevenskerk and the oldest houses from the 16th century to 19th-century neighbourhoods just outside the historical city centre and post-World War 2 reconstruction architecture.

A city with a long history like Nijmegen has its fair share of challenges, which affect its heritage assets. For the UHS 2023 course, we are going to look into four particular challenges.

  • Densification, or how the city can accommodate an ever-growing number of people within its boundaries without impacting its historical character
  • Reuse of former industrial sites, particularly along the riverfront; sites that have played an important role in the city’s local economy
  • Social housing, or how Nijmegen can stay affordable for people from lower income groups while many social housing homes are being sold for redevelopment
  • Climate change, particularly the impact of extreme rainfall and periods of drought in summers on neighbourhoods built on higher, sandy grounds.

The selected UHS 2023 participants will be divided into groups, each focusing on one of these challenges. They will work on a strategic action plan, which they will present to the municipality of Nijmegen at the end of the course.

How will I learn?

The course is developed by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (part of Erasmus University Rotterdam) in close cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the Department of Architecture and the Build Environment of Delft University of Technology. The curriculum draws upon the knowledge of both academic institutes and the expertise of the governmental department.

The short course on Urban Heritage Strategies consists of two parts.

Part I (online)

Part I is offered remotely and consists of online activities, including lectures and discussions, group work and individual self-study components, as well as individual and group assignments. Throughout the whole course, you work in thematic groups. The online course has a duration of eight days and takes place between Wednesday, 7 and Friday, 16 June 2023.

You will apply the obtained knowledge by means of individual and/or group assignments, which will be assessed individually and/or by means of presentations.

Part II (on-site)

Part II builds upon the lessons learned during the online course (Part I) and will be conducted in a face-to-face setting in the Netherlands for the duration of eight days. It takes place between Wednesday, 26 July and Friday, 4 August 2023. The content of the training is tailored around a case study approach. The case study and its challenges will be introduced during the first part of the course and will be visited during the second part. These introductions and your own observations will be used as a basis for the group work in part II, which follows the steps of the Strategic Action Planning Method. Besides that, excursions and exchanges with leading experts in the field will take place during this part.

What will I learn?

The overall learning objectives which guide Part I and Part II of the course are:

  • Cognitive knowledge on ‘integrated conservation’
  • Applicable skills (assessing tools for a Strategic Action Plan)
  • Besides that, participants start to build and expand their professional networks by means of group work and peer learning, and by means of a networking event organized by RCE.

Throughout the course (Part I and II), you will critically reflect on which strategies work in which contexts and the reasons behind them.

Part I (online)

Part I of Urban Heritage Strategies (UHS) aims to develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between urban development and heritage management. The online course covers the holistic context of the historic city in its economic, social and environmental dimensions. Besides, it looks into the management, planning and governance of the historic city. In this way, urban management tools will be brought into relation with heritage conservation and vice versa. You will learn about the potentials, challenges, and risks the historic cities face. At the end of Part I of UHS, you will be able to explain how different urban disciplines interact with heritage conservation. You will get to know specific urban heritage conservation approaches, like the Historic Urban Landscape Approach, and learn about Heritage Impact Assessment tools.

Part II (on-site)

In Part II you will refresh and apply the knowledge gained in the first part of the course. Based on the case study introductions and your own observations after a site visit, you will be guided to develop a strategic action plan. This means that you will learn to critically reflect on and apply urban heritage strategies to your own practice, which involves the consideration of different perspectives of related disciplines to your local case. By the end of Part II, you will have a draft version of a strategic action plan for the case city, which you will then present to the Nijmegen municipality.

Am I suitable for this training course? 

If you are engaged in urban management or heritage conservation as a government official, working for the private sector or at an NGO; if you are working as a consultant, advisor or lecturer; when you are an academic researcher in urban management or heritage conservation, then this is the right course for you. 

Please check our admission requirements to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for the course.

Thematic areas

Typically, but not exclusively, the following thematic areas are covered.

  • Historic Urban Landscape approach
  • Heritage Impact Assessment
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Heritage and values
  • Integrated conservation
  • Urban planning and governance
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Heritage economics
  • Community participation
  • Gentrification
  • Adaptive reuse

How to apply

For questions regarding the application procedure and admission requirements, visit our dedicated information page.


If you are still searching for a sponsor, have a look at our section on available funding opportunities.

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