Valuing World Heritage Cities: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Valuing World Heritage Cities

1st Edition

By Tanja Vahtikari


248 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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With its celebrated World Heritage List, UNESCO steers the global heritage agenda through the definition and redefinition of what constitutes heritage and by offering the highest-level forum for heritage professionalism. While it is the national governments that nominate sites for inclusion in the World Heritage List, and the intergovernmental World Heritage Committee that makes the final decision on inclusion or non-inclusion, it is the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) for cultural heritage that determines whether the necessary level of ‘outstanding universal value’ is met.

Focusing on the discourses of ICOMOS and their transmission to the local context, this book is the first in-depth historical analysis of the construction of heritage value in the context of cities illustrated through a case study of Old Rauma in Finland. The book contributes to the understanding of the discursive and constructed nature of World Heritage values as opposed to intrinsic values, critically scrutinizes the role of ICOMOS in making valuations concerning urban heritage, and sheds light on the interactions and tensions of universal and local (urban) perspectives in the practice of heritage valuation.

Valuing World Heritage Cities is the first in-depth historical analysis of the construction of heritage value in the context of cities in the transnational discourses of heritage. This unique and timely contribution will be of interest to scholars and students working in Heritage Studies, Cultural Geography, Urban Studies and Tourism.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Intrinsic value, uncontestable expertise: ICOMOS, UNESCO and outstanding universal value

3 Catching up with "the spirit of the moment"

4 World Heritage cities: which urban pasts? Whose urban histories?

5 World Heritage cities: what urban futures?

6 Outstanding universal value and the local narrative of place and heritage: Old Rauma

7 Conclusions

About the Author

Tanja Vahtikari is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Historical Research at the University of Tampere, Finland.

About the Series

Routledge Cultural Heritage and Tourism Series

The Routledge Cultural Heritage and Tourism Series offers a much-needed forum for original, innovative and cutting-edge research. This series is aimed at upper-level undergraduates, researchers and research students, as well as academics and policy-makers. Titles within the series are empirically and/or theoretically informed and explore a range of dynamic, diverse and topical areas, drawing across the humanities and social sciences to offer interdisciplinary perspectives. This series encourages new theoretical perspectives and showcases ground-breaking work that reflects the dynamism and vibrancy of heritage, tourism and cultural studies.

Areas of interest for the series are broad and multidisciplinary, including but not limited to:

  • Industrial heritage
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Pilgrimage
  • Dark tourism
  • Health and heritage
  • Archaeology and tourism
  • Museums
  • Social media and technology
  • Youth and cultural heritage
  • Genealogy and personal heritage
  • Cultural trails
  • Art and public art
  • Heritage cuisine and foodways
  • Intangible heritage
  • Heritage tour management
  • Visitor management and impacts
  • The tourist/visitor experience
  • Souvenirs
  • Cultural tourism and authenticity
  • Cultural parks
  • Conservation and interpretation
  • Heritage politics in tourism
  • Slow tourism, culture and heritage
  • Urban heritage
  • Rural tourism and agriheritage
  • Indigenous people and tourism
  • Ethnicity and tourism
  • Immigration, immigrants and diasporas
  • Language and tourism
  • Heritage tourism planning

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General