Urban Heritage Strategies
Urban development and heritage management

Urban Heritage Strategies course

Important information for applicants:

In line with the measures taken by the Dutch government and by Erasmus University Rotterdam IHS monitors the development of the COVID-19 crisis very closely. We evaluate on a weekly basis in which form this year’s Urban Heritage Strategies course may take place, whether physical or online. We will keep this page updated. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact us via schelkshorn@ihs.nl or vermeulen@ihs.nl.


 2 weeks


27 July – 7 August 2020

Tuition Fee

 € 2,500*



IHS application deadline  27 May 2020

Admissions information

Requirements and application procedure

OKP information

Procedure and deadlines

Course information and questionsadmission@ihs.nl

Abbreviation code

UHS 2020

Course coordinator

Alonso Ayala, Jean-Paul Corten, Remco Vermeulen and David Schelkshorn



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

Note: This year’s course is tailored to three World Heritage Cities, designated by UNESCO: Willemstad (Curaçao), Paramaribo (Suriname) and Salvador da Bahia (Brazil). The course participants should either work in or have profound knowledge of the selected cities for this course.

The countries in which the cities are located have a partnership on heritage conservation with the Netherlands. For that reason, the Dutch government provides a full tuition fee waiver for selected applicants for this course. Admitted candidates will receive additional information on how to apply for the waiver. 

In cities all around the world, built heritage is under pressure from either over- or under development, climate change and water challenges. Especially World Heritage Cities struggle to combine desired conservation with necessary development. Meanwhile, we may observe that heritage plays an increasingly important role in the present-day city. It reflects the image of a society, reveals stories about its past and fosters the cultural identity of a city. If managed properly heritage can effectively contribute to the urban quality and serve as a vital asset for future development.

Urban Heritage Strategies (UHS) aims to develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between urban development and heritage management.  The course is developed by IHS in close cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. The curriculum draws upon the different IHS specialisations and the knowledge of experts of the Cultural Heritage Agency. UHS develops the capacity of participants in terms of cognitive knowledge and practical skills to perform management of historic urban cores. It also aims at the exchange of experience with fellow participants and wants to build professional networks.

What will I learn?

You will learn about the potentials, challenges and risks the World Heritage Cities face. At the end of the course, you will be able to explain how different urban disciplines interact with heritage conservation. You will study and discuss different perspectives of related disciplines to your local case. Urban management tools will be brought into relation with heritage conservation and vice versa. You will get to know specific urban heritage conservation approaches, like the Historic Urban Landscape Approach, and learn about Heritage Impact Assessments. Overall questions which guide the course are:

• What are the development opportunities and what are the development threats for the World Heritage City?

• How can the Outstanding Universal Value of the site support social cohesion?

• What is the economic significance of the Heritage Attributes?

• Which are the environmental constraints of the listed site?

Throughout the course, you will critically reflect on which strategies work in which contexts and the reasons behind it.

How will I learn?

Urban Heritage Strategies course employs a blend of theoretical lectures, case study presentations and field visits. Additionally, participants are engaged in practical group work. In general, the training provides theoretical, interactive lectures in the mornings, followed by practical workshops or excursions in the afternoons. The content of the training is tailored around a case study approach. Participants will work on their respective World Heritage sites, following the steps of the Action Planning Methodology, as developed by IHS. This means that as a participant, you will learn to critically reflect on and apply urban heritage strategies to your own practice. The outcome of the training is a plan of action for the case study area, based on the knowledge gained and skills acquired during the training.

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. 

In addition to that, the participants to this course should either work in or have profound knowledge of the selected World Heritage cities.

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.

  • Outstanding Universal Values and their Attributes
  • Management Plans
  • Historic Urban Landscape Approach
  • Heritage Impact Assessment
  • Urban planning and governance
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Local economics
  • Gentrification
  • Community participation
  • Adaptive reuse

How to apply

Interested in participating in this post-graduate diploma course? The application will be open from 27th of February 2020. You will find an ''Apply now'' button which directs you to the application form on this page. 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.


Photo credit: Zach Inglis