Side Event of the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held to focus on the Central Axis of Beijing’s application for inscription to the World Heritage List
On the afternoon of July 17, 2021, the side event of the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, themed Conservation and Sustainable Development of Historic Urban Landscape, co-hosted by the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, was held at the Fuzhou Strait International Conference and Exhibition Center. Well-known Chinese and foreign experts on the protection of cultural heritage conducted online discussions on the topic of “Conservation and Sustainable Development of Historic Urban Landscape.” The side event also showcased the conservation achievements of the historic and cultural city of Beijing and helped promote the application for the inscription of the Central Axis of Beijing into the World Heritage List, as well as its protection.
The historic urban landscape is the urban area understood as the result of a historic layering of cultural and natural values and attributes, extending beyond the notion of “historic centre” or “ensemble” to include the broader urban context and its geographical setting. On May 27, 2011, the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape was adopted thanks to UNESCO. At the 10th anniversary of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL Recommendation) this year, the side event has received attention and support from relevant international organizations. Jyoti Hosagrahar, Deputy Director for the World Heritage Center at UNESCO, and Theresa Patricio, President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), addressed this side event. The protection and sustainable development of historic cities is a challenge that the international community needs to face in a new era. This side event aims to share the practical experience of various countries in protecting historic cities and promote dialogue and cooperation between countries in cultural heritage conservation.
More than ten internationally renowned experts were invited to this event to share the heritage protection cases of historic cities such as Kyoto, Rome, Brasilia. At the same time, in-depth discussions were conducted on effective ways of historic urban landscape protection and the protection and management practices within the world heritage framework.
As a historic and cultural city with a history of more than 3,000 years and a history of over 800 years as the capital city of China, in recent years, Beijing has firmly adhered to its strategic position, fully implemented the overall urban planning, focused on the integration between protection and renewal of the city, and advanced the conservation and development in parallel. Beijing has achieved remarkable results in promoting the overall protection of the old city based on the Central Axis. Guided by sustainable development concepts to protect the integrity of the historic urban landscape, Beijing has revised the Measures for the Protection of the Historical and Cultural Landmark of Beijing and compiled the Urban Design Guidelines for Landscape Management along the Central Axis Beijing to promote the legislative progress on the protection of cultural heritage along the Central Axis of Beijing, and to extend the scope of the historic and cultural city to the entire Beijing. At the same time, the people-centered efforts aim to improve the residents’ quality of life and promote joint development shared by all.