Skip main navigation

Historic destinations

Why are historic destinations important for place-making? In this article, Dr Jennie Sjöholm discusses the roles of heritage in place-making.
Piazza Navona, Rome

Historic sites are places that are of cultural significance. That is, they have historic, aesthetic, or social value for people.

Historic sites often attract visitors. There are many reasons for this. For instance, the sites might have an interesting history, or have likeable architecture. Sometimes historic monuments becomes the symbol of a place. Examples of historic sites attracting visitors are: the pyramids in Egypt, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House.

World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO. They list cultural and natural sites that are of outstanding value to humanity. There are roughly 1100 sites listed. Many countries promote having sites listed, because World Heritage Sites attracts tourists.

Many of the World Heritage Sites are urban environments well known for its successful urban spaces. Examples of this are the historic centre of Rome, the banks of the Seine in Paris, and Venice and its Lagoon.

These are examples of major tourist sites. However, there are plenty of historic sites across all countries. Some might be recognised nationally, while others are better known locally. They have potential to add to a place’ attractiveness, bringing continuity and character to the place.

This article is from the free online

Placemaking and Public Space Design: Unlocking Tourist Destinations

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education