This House Believes that UNESCO is Holding Back Our Cities

This House Believes that UNESCO is Holding Back Our Cities Event

Tuesday 18 June 2013

…are World Heritage Sites worth protecting?

By adhering to the World Heritage Convention, the UK allows UNESCO to meddle in the development of our cities to preserve their heritage. World Heritage Site status creates a straight-jacket that can be at odds with national and local need. By threatening removal of this status, in the name of protection and preservation, UNESCO can exert undue influence over our vision for the future. Do our great cities belong to the world? Or is their continued evolution, responding to the needs and desires of the people that live there, really the thing that makes them great in the first place? Should a great city be defined by a series of historic set pieces, or the protection of certain views, as envisaged by international inspectors? Or is history (and therefore heritage) there to be written, and a great city should be defined by an ongoing narrative about the civilisation that builds, shapes, adapts and develops the environment in which they inhabit.

This house believes that the world’s cities are under threat from the pressure to appease UNESCO and preserve an idea of heritage that seeks to ‘freeze in time’ a moment of greatness, as a museum piece for wider consumption, at the expense of developing great cities and civilisations of the future.

Confirmed Speakers

Finn Williams – Founder Common Office & Deputy Leader Croydon Placemaking Team

Michael Squire – Partner, Squire and Partners Architects
Cristina Monteiro – Partner, DK-CM Architecture & Research

John Penrose MP – Former minister for Heritage and Tourism (Architecture)
Chris Smith OBE – Director, National Planning and Conservation, English Heritage

Join us for a drink from 6pm for a 6.30pm start (Prompt)

This event is free but booking is essential. Please CLICK HERE to reserve your place

Start Date:

Tuesday 18 June 2013 6.30pm

End Date:

Tuesday 18 June 2013 8.00pm

Event Address:

Wren Room / RIBA

66 Portland Place, London, , W1B 1AD, United Kingdom

Event fee:

This event is free but booking is essential. Please visit to reserve your place


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