Course 2020-2021 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  4 credits L-ART/04  |  2 credits SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered in blended format (part online and part on campus)

Suggested background knowledge

No specific knowledge recommendations but a genuine interest in heritage places and the environment in which we live is vital, together with a willingness to dedicate a significant amount of time to coursework where most knowledge acquisition occurs.

Mission & Content Summary


The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has a monitoring system for those heritage places on the World Heritage List facing particular difficulties. In recent decades, the data emerging brings two key areas to the fore: the shortcomings of heritage management, and all they entail from legislative frameworks to resources deployment; and the struggle to align heritage agendas with the broader needs of society. Heritage places are never a simple reality, often requiring the reconciliation of multiple public and private interests. These are special places that have evolved over time and the features and traditions to which a range of stakeholders assign importance are a rich tapestry of material and immaterial elements and the main focus of management. The sheer diversity of heritage typologies are paired with implications of contrasting management realities and the wider enabling environments. Here, competing economic or political interests can constantly reshape agendas and the actors involved. Managing continuity and change in heritage places is a delicate balancing act making for a sector that does not lend itself easily to 'standardization' of management approaches. In the course there is a specific focus on the struggle within the cultural heritage sector to find effective ways to achieve, qualify and quantify success; in terms of achieving desired outcomes for heritage itself and for society, but also in terms of improving the performance of heritage management models. The w


The emphasis of the course is on:

  • Cultural heritage places (rather than collections and the museum sector which are addressed in other courses, although there are obvious links) and the heritage sector in general.
  • Understanding, defining, assessing management systems for cultural heritage in order to promote improvements within them.
  • Achieving a more dynamic role for cultural heritage in broader sustainable development to harness benefits both for heritage and for broader wellbeing in society.

To enhance the margins for applied learning and peer learning, the course uses inscriptions on the World Heritage List and the common analytical framework for analysis of heritage management systems developed for the 2013 UNESCO manual as common ground and a springboard to advance reflections on all heritage realities and the sector in general.


The course content includes:

  • A historical introduction to how the heritage sector evolved
  • International overviews
  • Methods to examine heritage significance and make it the backbone of decision making
  • Material-based, values-based and people-centered approaches to heritage and how they reverberate with stakeholders and rightsholders
  • The common framework for analysis of World Heritage management systems (UNESCO 2013) which focuses on legal and institutional frameworks, resources, diverse heritage processes and related outcomes.
  • Heritage and sustainable development
  • Managing continuity and change and the role of heritage impact assessments
  • Capacity building and tools
  • Case studies

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

At the end of the course student will be able to...

· Identify heritage as a collective good and responsibility, and recognize the diversity of heritage places.

· Demonstrate awareness of international legislation and designations for heritage.

· Explain the World Heritage Convention as a major influencer, including the conceptual background and operational realities.

· Illustrate cultural significance and people-centred approaches in the context of managing shared assets.

· Understand and define management systems for heritage.

· Comprehend the implications of a more dynamic role for cultural heritage in broader sustainable development

· Navigate a rich array of case studies from all over the world with the capacity to discern diverse approaches to heritage conservation and management,


At the end of the course student will be able to...

At the end of the course student will be able to...

· Contextualize and evaluate approaches to heritage places at a national and a site level in light of a greater awareness of approaches in the international community.

· Assess management systems for heritage places with a view to identifying and introducing improvements for greater management effectiveness.

· Elaborate mature reflections on how management responses can harness benefits for heritage and for broader wellbeing in society.

· Formulate specific recommendations for tuning management approaches at a site level, adjusting regional and national level heritage frameworks and adopting tools to this end.

· Interact in a constructive way and think critically.

· Organize information and knowledge strategically in oral presentations and written reports simulating high level advisory work and capacity building initiatives for senior decision and policy makers.

· Demonstrate a mature critical ability and an enhanced capacity to advise professionally within this sector, or in a mediation role between this sector and other sectors.

· Unite his or her diverse background - often with strengths in economics, business and the wider arts sector - with a better understanding of the cultural heritage sector in order to make him or her a prime candidate for interdisciplinary cultural leadership roles.

· Act as a future mediator for management innovation in the cultural heritage sector, a field that has been somewhat isolated and self-referential for too long and is in great need of stronger inter-sectorial not just interdisciplinary approaches.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The course draws on real life case studies from around the world, together with progress made in the development of new approaches and methodologies - often in the context of ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN policy work for World Heritage. These come together to allow the students to explore some common theoretical frameworks, identify what is happening at real heritage sites, promote a common language and identify their own capacity to improve practice in the field. Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights.

  • · The case studies adopted by the students as coursework help explore management issues raised by multiple ownership, complex governance, conflicting values and the relationship of cultural heritage places to the communities within or around them and to society as a whole. The exam only students simulate the course assignment in a condensed for a dedicated question.
  • Guest lecturers are a fundamental element of the course, presenting the challenges faced by professionals in the field or cutting edge research and policy work. These inputs can also be in the form of interaction with the IUCN Panorama “solutions’ web resource for peer learning.
  • When possible, external visits to heritage places, including contact with the organizations and communities involved in their management, allow a first-hand understanding of how they work behind the scenes.
  • The coursework components are the real core of the course - the delivery of a body of work exploring specific topics introduced during the first weeks of the course and advanced through a mix of individual work, group work and class workshops throughout the course. The approach roots the study environment in peer-learning and ensures that students fully interact with course content and can apply it to real world scenarios.
  • The coursework option is structured to reinforce the ability of students with diverse backgrounds to understand the broad issues and peculiarities of managing heritage places worldwide and think strategically at multiple scales, while the exam questions further reinforce these themes focusing in more detail on specific management issues and capacity-building approaches. Active class participation is vital and this course is inevitably less rewarding and effective for those opting for examination solely via the written exam.
  • Readings range from key texts to other suggested bibliography. A greater number of key texts are provided for students opting out of coursework in favour of the 100% exam evaluation.
  • Course presentations offered during classroom sessions and external visits, together with other essential reading indicated during the course, are uploaded weekly on to the course learning area on the Bocconi portal and are significant for attending and non-attending students alike.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • Peer evaluation


The status of attending student is recognized in the first three calendar exams.  Assessment methods are based on two elements:

    • Coursework: 50%
    • Final exam: 50%


The coursework consists of simulating a research unit offering high level advice to senior heritage actors. It unfolds in three steps:

  • Coursework 1 – get to know your heritage place and its needs, enhanced by comparative analysis with other sites (coursework focus for groups for first month).
  • Coursework 2 – get to know your heritage management system and its strengths and weaknesses (coursework focus for individual students for most of second month).
  • Coursework 3 – make recommendations for the future of your site and for the heritage sector and the specific heritage typologies you are dealing with, drawing on comparative analysis with other sites (coursework focus for groups for most of third month).

It entails working in groups and individually in the following way:

  • Independent individual research - Coursework 2 (40% of overall course evaluation). A case study and themes are chosen in agreement with the Course Director; summary findings then are shared in the form of a presentation to the class and an associated report. The student's active participation in class discussion and ability to present individually is also taken into consideration.
  • Comparative case study analysis in two phases - Coursework 1 & 3 above (10% of overall course evaluation). Students are divided into small groups to advance the tasks and then present and discuss their findings with their peers: the emphasis on contrasts between case studies constitute vital steps to understanding the diverse management implications of each heritage typology and management environment. Group work takes place in two phases:
    • At the beginning of the coursework so students familiarize themselves well with a handful of case studies and enhance their critical capacity and ability to navigate the topic swiftly.
    • As the final chapter of the coursework where students pull together their critical contributions to make recommendations for the heritage sector as a whole, specific typologies of heritage and their specific case studies. In this phase, drawing on the simulation of being a hypothetical research unit offering high level advisor work in the real world, students are also required to reorder all the progress made in a professional way in a final submission.

Final exam:

  • A final written exam (50% of overall course evaluation). The exam is in written form, last 120 minutes and it is open book. It is structured around a series of questions, in some cases with a selection from which the student can choose. It focuses on subjects covered in the:
    • Course presentations, including those offered during any external visits.
    • Key texts and other suggested reading identified for the course.
    • Intermediate outcomes of the coursework of the attending students.
    • Any other learning resources indicated during announcements for the course.


Student assessment will be based entirely on one written final exam. The exam content and weight distribution of marks reflect the approach to attending students (i.e. both the content of their coursework and their partial exam). Non-attending students can take all available exams.  

  • A final written exam (100% of overall course evaluation). The exam is in written form, last 120 minutes and it is open book. Students are required to deliver more complete and exhaustive responses, and respond to additional questions that also cover the issues addresses by attending students during the coursework. It is structured around a series of questions, in some cases with a selection from which the student can choose. It focuses on content found in the:
    • Course presentations, including those offered during any external visits.
    • Key texts and other suggested reading identified for the course.
    • Intermediate outcomes of the coursework of the attending students.
    • Any other learning resources indicated during announcements for the course.

Teaching materials


There is a generous two part reading list for this course. This is in part due to the ambitions of the course to reach out at an international scale but also stimulated by many of the resources being free downloads.

No texts are mandatory but many will help students push their knowledge and understanding further, particularly in the specific area of cultural heritage management that their coursework or exam preparation has taken them.

Readings for this course are divided into two sections.

    1. Core bibliography for the course
    1. Wider background reading to enhance coursework and the full edition of the exam (the final exam that equates to 100% of the final evaluation)

During the course, results of some unpublished ICCROM research projects are also presented and if cited in coursework or exam papers reference must be made to the presentation title.

i) Core bibliography

  • Albert, MT., Richon, M., Vinals, M.J. & Witcomb, A. (Eds.) (2012) Community Development through World Heritage. Paris: UNESCO World Heritage Papers 31.
  • Boccardi, G. (2015) From Mitigation to Adaptation: A New Heritage Paradigm for the Anthropocene in Albert, MT (ed) Perceptions of Sustainability in Heritage Studies. Heritage Studies Degruyter 4: 87-98
  • McManamon, F.P. & Hatton, A. (ed.s) (2009) Cultural Resource Management in Contemporary Society. Routledge, New York, USA: preface pp.xiiixv and introduction pp.1-19.
  • PANORAMA Solutions for a Healthy Planet (2020). NatureCulture Thematic Community.
  • Thompson, J. & Wijesuriya, G. (2018) From ‘Sustaining heritage’ to ‘Heritage sustaining broader societal wellbeing and benefits’ An ICCROM perspective. In Boccardi, G., Larsen, P. B. & Logan, W. (eds.) World Heritage and Sustainable Development: New Directions in World Heritage Management. London: Routledge: 12: 180195.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2013) Managing Cultural World Heritage. UNESCO: Chapter 2, 3 & 4 in particular but also the Appendix on management planning. 
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2011). Presentation and adoption of the World Heritage strategy for capacity building. Paris, UNESCO World Heritage Centre. (Doc WHC11/35.COM/9B)
  • Wijesuriya, G., Thompson, J. & Court, S. (2016) Engaging Communities and Developing Capacities for Heritage. In Chitty, G. (ed.) Heritage, Conservation and Communities: engagement and capacity building. Routledge, UK.

ii) Wider background reading

The wider readings offer a very diverse selection of texts, some of which could be pertinent to specific themes raised by a student’s case study whether within coursework or a site being studied for the exam. It is particularly important that those opting for the 100% exam final evaluation enhance their knowledge for the exam sitting through wider reading.

  • Amareswar, G. (ed.) (2012) World Heritage: Benefits Beyond Borders. UNESCO/Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Australia ICOMOS (2013). Charter for Places of Cultural Significance, The Burra Charter.
  • Baia Curioni, S. (2011) Ercolano Felix, Rapporto Annuale Fondazioni 2011 – Il Giornale dell’Arte, Allemandi.
  • Bandarin, F., Hosagrahar, J. & Sailer Albernaz, F. (2011) "Why development needs culture", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 1 Issue 1. Emerald Group: pp.15 – 25

N.B. Also, browse other editions of this journal edited by A. Pereira Roders & R. van Oers.

  • Beck, L. & Cable, T. (1998) Interpretation for the 21st Century: 15 Guiding Principles for Interpreting Nature and Culture. Champaign: Sagamore Publishing.
  • Black, G. (2005) The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement. London: Routledge.
  • Bond, S. & Worthing, D. (Ed.s) (2016) Managing Built Heritage: The Role of Cultural Values and Significance, Second Edition. UK: Wiley Blackwell
  • Brochu, L. & Merriman, T. (2011) Put the HEART Back in Your Community: community experience planning. Fort Collins, CO: Heartfelt Publications.
  • Brown, Jessica; HayEdie, Terence (2014): Engaging local communities in stewardship of World

Heritage. A methodology based on the COMPACT experience. Paris, France: UNESCO World Heritage papers, 40.

  • Clark, Kate (Ed.) (2006): Capturing the Public Value of Heritage. The proceedings of the London. Conference: English Heritage Kemble Drive.

  • Court, S., Thompson, J. & Biggi, C. (2011) Recognizing the interdependent relationship between heritage and its wider context. In Bridgland, J. (ed.) Preprints of the 16th ICOMCC Triennial Conference. Lisbon, 19-23 September 2011. Almada, ICOM.
  • Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe (2015) (CHCFE)

  • De la Torre, M. (ed.) (2005) Heritage Values in Site Management Four Case Studies. J. Paul Getty Trust, USA.
  • De la Torre, M. (2002). Assessing the Values of Cultural Heritage: Research Report. The Getty Conservation Institute.

  • Hall, D. and Richards, G. (ed.s) (2003) Tourism and Sustainable Community Development. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Heritage, A., Tissot, A., Banerjee, B. (2019). Heritage and Wellbeing: What Constitutes a Good Life?
  • Heritage Counts produced annually since 2002 by Historic England on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum. Heritage Counts consists of five separate documents, which are updated annually:
  • Heritage Counts – Annual Research Report
  • Heritage Indicators
  • Historic Environment Overview
  • Heritage and the Economy
  • Heritage and Society
  • Holden, J. (2006) Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy. Demos.
  • Lithgow, K. Sustainable decision makingchange in National Trust collections conservation, Jornal of Istitute of Conservation, 2011, Vol. 34, No. 1, 130-144, Routledge.
  • Logan, W., Máiread, N.C. & Kockel, U. (eds) (2015) A Companion to Heritage Studies WileyBlackwell.

  • Jokilehto, J. (2008). The World Heritage List What is OUV? Defining the Outstanding Universal Value of Cultural World Heritage Properties. ICOMOS.

  • Labadi, S. (2019). Reexamining World Heritage and Sustainable Development. In: Bharne, V. and Sandmeier, T. eds. Routledge Companion on Global Heritage Conservation. Routledge, pp. 15-26.

  • Larsen, Peter Bille and Wijesuriya, Gamini (2015) Natureculture interlinkages in World Heritage : bridging the gap (2015). World heritage Review (75). pp. 4-15.

Republished here:

  • Lithgow, K. (2011) Sustainable decision making change in National Trust collections conservation.  Journal of the Institute of Conservation. Vol. 34, No. 1, 130–144. Routledge (provided on request)
  • Lusiani, M., Ferri, P. & Zan, L. (2017) Making Sense of Site Management. In Makuvaza, S. (ed.) Aspects of Management Planning for Cultural Heritage Sites. Springer International Publishing AG: pp. 227239
  • Mason, R. (ed.) (1999) Economics and Heritage Conservation Getty Conservation Institute.
  • Meskell, L (ed.) (2015) Global Heritage: A Reader. WileyBlackwell

  • Morris, Hargreaves, McIntyre (2005) Never mind the width, feel the quality. London.

  • PLB (2001) Developing New Audiences for the Heritage. London: HLF.
  • Re, A. (ed.), (2012) Evaluating the management of UNESCO sites, Celid, Torino (English abstract of Italian volume on request)
  • Sable, K. A. and Kling, R. (2001) ‘The double public good: a conceptual framework for ‘shared experience’ values associated with heritage conservation’. Journal of Cultural Economics 25: pp.77–89.
  • Steele, E. (2009) Cultural Heritage Policy Documents. The Getty Conservation Institute
  • Tarrafa Silva, A., Pereira Roders, A. (2012). Cultural Heritage Management and Heritage (Impact) Assessments.
  • Thompson, J. (2008) ‘Conservation & management challenges in a publicprivate initiative for a large archaeological site (Herculaneum, Italy)’, Conservation & Management of Archaeological Sites 8.4: pp. 191204.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2019). The Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2019). World Heritage Success Stories.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2020). The World Heritage Convention.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2020). Global Strategy.
  • Waterton, E. and Watson, S. (2013) Heritage and Community Engagement. London: Routledge.

Young, C. (2014) Chapters 3 ‘The Management Context’ and Chapter 4 ‘The Need for a Management Plan and the First and Second Plans’. In Stone, P. & Brough, D. (ed.s) Managing, using and interpreting Hadrian’s Wall as World Heritage. Springer.


As above

Last change 23/11/2020 17:29