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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.

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Placemaking and Public Space Design: Unlocking Tourist Destinations

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