World Heritage cities (WHC), meaning urban areas, often in part, inscribed at the UNESCO World Heritage list are valuable heritages to many local and global communities and, therefore, attract efforts to conserve them. Nonetheless, these cities are increasingly under pressure, by globalization, climate change, and tourism. An integral approach, interlinking urban development, and conservation, as proposed by the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL approach), foreseen to promote a more sustainable development. This means that public participation plays an essential role in consensus building among the varied stakeholders on related decision making processes, in particular on what is a heritage (attributes) in their city and why (values) to be conserved.The HUL approach underlines people‘s role by proposing public participation as a tool, recommending authorities to involve the community in their urban and heritage management processes. Being an international recommendation, the HUL approach does not specify a framework for public participation, nor reference the critical factors affecting the public participation processes, as these are expected to differ, depending on the context. It does reference the aim for consensus specificly to the cultural significance (attributes and values) of the city among all stakeholders.This paper aims to present the results of a part of a systematic literature review, revealing the knowledge and gaps in the state-of-the-art in studies that focus on public participation as a tool to reach consensus. The eligible studies were evaluated on four criteria: 1) context and field of the project, 2) public participation process,
3) consensus. Besides highlighting its conceptual complexities and contradictions, this paper also puts forward recommendations to guide future research. Results can be relevant for cities seeking public participation frameworks to implement the HUL approach.
- Public participation
- World Heritage Cities
- Historic Urban Landscape