SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 25, 2021 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government will host a non-face-to-face international conference under the theme of “Heritage and Metropolis” jointly with UN-Habitat from 4 p.m. on December 1 and 2. More than 30 city and heritage experts from over 15 countries will participate in discussing the critical topic.
Officials from the UNESCO Bureau of Cultural Affairs; the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNESCO’s world heritage review organizations; and research institutes from 12 large cities will attend to present and discuss the role, meaning, and management practices of heritage for a sustainable metropolis. In addition to Seoul, participating cities are Paris, London, Shanghai, Moscow, Milan, Delhi, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, New York, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.
The international community is preparing policy guidelines for heritage protection and management for a sustainable future of large cities in the 21st century. The conference will mark the first gathering to establish a global report on the status of the heritage and metropolis in the future and to suggest a new concept and policy direction of heritage.
As one of the large cities selected by UN-Habitat and a World Heritage holding city, Seoul hosted this conference to join the efforts of the international community to manage the heritage for a sustainable metropolis. At the conference, the city will introduce its management of the Seoul City Wall as an excellent example along with its policy efforts, such as the World Heritage listing promotion project.
The Seoul City Wall, the capital fortress of the Joseon Dynasty built in the heart of Seoul, is symbolic of the nation’s capital. Its geographical location makes the City Wall management the standard for dividing Seoul’s administrative districts and the management of the city center.
This is an excellent example of how Seoul, a global metropolis with a population of ten million, maintains sustainability through its heritage. Sustainability and resilience, the widely discussed issues in the international community, are attracting attention in terms of the role and value of heritage in the World Heritage system.
On the first day of the conference, the background of “heritage and metropolis” will be explained and case studies of 12 major cities, including Seoul, London, and Paris. On the second day, Seoul’s policies will be introduced as an example of a metropolitan heritage policy, followed by panel discussions by topic in parallel.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government signed a letter of intent with the UN Habitat in July to hold this year’s conference. Baek Un-seok, Director of Seoul City Wall, said, “I hope the international community get to know more about Seoul’s excellent heritage management policies through this conference, which will help Seoul City Wall be listed as World Heritage in the future.”
Pre-registration is required for the first- and second-day sessions of the conference. You can visit the website of the Seoul City Wall (seoulcitywall.seoul.go.kr) and click the link to sign up. You can access the conference through the link you will receive by email. Simultaneous Korean-English interpretation will be provided for the audience.