Managing the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site

Closed 15 Apr 2024

Opened 12 Feb 2024


World Heritage Sites (WHS) are recognised by UNESCO as places of outstanding cultural, historical, or scientific value and are legally protected by international treaties. The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were given WHS status in 1995; recognising the striking contrast and quality in architecture between the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town. 

Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site Management Plan

A Management Plan identifies issues and opportunities within the World Heritage Site, and sets out priority areas for action to preserve and enhance the site. While the management plan covers a ten-year period, an action plan is developed alongside it focusing on a two-year period.

Between 2021 and 2023, members of the public were consulted on the development of the new Management Plan. This feedback indentified five themes of relevance to the management of the World Heritage Site:

  • Awareness, appreciation and activity around World Heritage Site status
  • Climate emergency 
  • Conservation and maintenance of buildings and public spaces
  • Control, guidance, and contribution of new development to city centre
  • Sustainable visitor experience 

The plan is prepared and managed by the City of Edinburgh CouncilHistoric Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage.

Why your views matter

We’d like to hear your views on the new plan, specifically whether you feel we are doing enough to protect and enhance the Site, and any other ideas or suggestions which you may have.

Your feedback will be used to update and modify the draft Management Plan. The final version of the Management Plan will be formally endorsed by the partners in the summer of 2024.

Read a summary of the draft management and action plans

Read the Draft Management Plan for 2024 - 2035

Read the Draft Action Plan for 2024 - 2026

Different language or format

Please email the Interpretation and Translation Service at quoting reference: 24-9550 (Managing the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site)


  • All Edinburgh


  • Anyone from any background


  • Conservation
  • Land and property