The World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP) under the auspices of UNESCO, is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the Asia-Pacific region. WHITRAP builds the capacity of the professionals and bodies involved with World Heritage site conservation and management in the Asia-Pacific region, conducts training and research, and facilitates dissemination of information and network building.

Since 2013 WHITRAP (Shanghai) and Tongji University’s Advanced Research Institute for Architecture and Urban-Rural Planning, in cooperation with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, are facilitating the implementation of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape by promoting and undertaking research and training, as well as developing pilot projects in the region.

During an international expert meeting organized by WHITRAP in October 2012, a special programme on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) was established in order to develop a ‘Road Map’ for the application of this approach in China. This approach focuses on 3 principal aspects:
A. The definition of HUL, in particular whether it is an object or subject, and its proper interpretation in Chinese;
B. The three-fold objectives of the HUL approach:
• The management of change
• The improvement of living conditions for local populations
• The creation of a virtuous cycle in urban conservation
C. The required toolkit for application of the HUL approach at the local level.

Under the direction of Professor Zhou Jian, Deputy Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University and Director of WHITRAP (Shanghai), and Dr. Ron van Oers, Vice Director of WHITRAP (Shanghai), an interdisciplinary group of professionals with backgrounds in architecture, urban planning and design, social sciences and cultural heritage, is working on the HUL research programme.

WHITRAP provides advisory services for elaborating conservation and development strategies, organizing workshops and training seminars, or other HUL activities tailor made to local situations as per demand. For further information, please contact us.


Director. World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP) under the auspices of UNESCO.

Under the HUL approach cultural diversity and creativity are considered key assets for human, social and economic development. These provide tools to manage physical and social transformations brought by development processes.