Re-Scape Colloquium: Mobilizing Water Heritage in Sustainable Development


Cultural heritage is a driver for sustainable development to tackle the issues, challenges and threats brought on by globalization. Conservation of cultural heritage can help to increase the resilience and sustainability of cities.

The concept of the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) provides a foundation to practically integrate heritage conservation and sustainable urban development in historical cities. It is a tool that allows for understanding complex networks including those of water. Understanding past water management, policies, philosophy, art, and culture, embedding these findings into present and future practices, and developing adaptive strategies for water infrastructures has recently emerged as a new focus of attention, most notably in the Netherlands. Dutch public authorities have been developing strategies and policies to reclaim and embed water heritage into its spatial planning. Several institutions including ICOMOS NL, the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, PortCityFutures and others are striving to raise more attention to the interrelated challenges of water and heritage.


In this Re-scape colloquium, we aim to connect questions of water heritage with the HUL approach for the sustainable urban development of waterfront cities. We ask:

(1) What are the challenges that HUL can help identify and solve around water-related issues?

(2) How can the discussion on water heritage enrich the content of HUL?

(3) How can we achieve long-term sustainable development of waterfront cities through activating water heritage?

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Find more information about the format, speakers and break-out rooms below: