UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


UCL ISH January Guest Lecture 'Sustaining Urban World Heritage: Policy and Practice'

5:45 pm to 8:00 pm, 18 January 2018

Westminster from the Queen Elizabeth Tower. Credit: Henry Owen-John

On Thursday 18 January, UCL ISH will be hosting a Guest Lecture to be delivered by Henry Owen-John, Head of International Advice at Historic England.

Event Information

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UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


University College London Central House 14 Upper Woburn Place


The scale and pace of change in many historic cities raises questions about how best to conserve cultural and natural heritage. The measures put in place to do so vary from city to city and nation to nation.

In recent years, UNESCO has worked hard to secure the recognition of the role that cultural and natural heritage can play in achieving wider sustainable development goals. The consequent recognition of the value of heritage in making cities more sustainable in Goal 11 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030 is an important milestone. There are however challenges in trying to ensure that high level UN goals are translated into effective action on the ground.

This lecture will explore some of these challenges using case studies from world heritage cities in the UK, Europe and beyond.


Henry Owen-John is an archaeologist by profession; after graduating from Birmingham University in 1976, he worked for the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust, directing rescue excavations, and helping to develop the Trust’s archaeological advisory service to local planning authorities.

Henry became an Inspector of Ancient Monuments at English Heritage in 1991, before taking up management positions; from 2004 to 2014 he headed the planning team for north-west England, which advises local planning authorities on proposed changes to significant historic assets and offers grant aid towards heritage at risk.

He is currently Head of International Advice at Historic England. This role includes advising government and others on how best to meet obligations that flow from international heritage conventions, particularly those adopted by UNESCO. From 2006 to 2016 he served as a Commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, of which he was the Vice Chairman from 2012.


University College London Central House 14 Upper Woburn Place