The Regional Workshop for Europe on “Developing Local Synergies among UNESCO designated sites” held in Florence, Italy, on 18-19 April 2024 concluded successfully.
The event, co-organised by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and the Municipality of Florence, brought together delegates from 9 multi-designated areas across 7 countries over two days.
The organisation of the workshop is made possible thanks to the annual contribution of Italy to the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and thanks to the financial support of the Italian Ministry of Tourism “Fondo siti UNESCO e città creative”.
A special thanks to the Chamber of Commerce of Florence
for hosting us in its exceptional site.
Despite varying operational frameworks, UNESCO designated sites such as World Heritage properties, Biosphere Reserves, UNESCO Global Geoparks, and UNESCO Creative Cities, share the common goal of pursuing UNESCO’s mission towards peace, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue by cherishing and fostering the local cultural and natural values.

The workshop aimed to explore the potential benefits of cooperation amongst UNESCO designated sites. Specifically, it served as a platform for regional reflection on the advantages of collaborative efforts at the territorial level, by raising awareness of the subject, advancing knowledge and possibly inspiring future action. Special attention was given to regions with multiple designations, discussing how to harness their complementarity to better align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Participants included representatives from site managing authorities, central and local government agencies, National Commissions for UNESCO, individual experts, and other practitioners.

The engaging programme featured case studies, practical exercises, and group discussions.

  • Day 1 – dedicated to sharing experiences, highlighted successful regional collaborations in Europe through a series of presentations.
  • Day 2 – delved into potential synergies between Historic Centre of Florence and the Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany. The exercise, which was facilitated by Bert Smit, principal lecturer and researcher at the Breda University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), had multiple purposes: to inspire how to reinforce coordination among the two properties; to stimulate participants to reflect on their cases; and, to present methodologies supporting co-creation and co-decision for sustainable tourism strategies, taking stock of the SmartCulTour project’s experience.

The workshop underscored the importance of developing a common vision and objectives for UNESCO designated sites at territorial level, unlocking the collective potential of these sites, to be supported by effective and efficient coordination mechanisms and innovative working modalities.


pdf – 3 MB

Workshop Programme “Developing Local Synergies among UNESCO designated sites”