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Department of Economic and Social History



UNESCO Chair for Heritage and Urban Studies 

The UNESCO International Chairs Networking Program (University Twinning and Networking – UNITWIN/UNESCO CHAIRS) is part of a cooperative program implemented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is an international network of universities that supports UNESCO’s work in the fields of education, natural and social sciences, culture and communications. Its goal is to help face contemporary challenges and contribute to social development.

The Chair’s activities as a UNESCO Chair focus on research and education in the field of cultural heritage management, economic and social contexts for the preservation and development of culture and heritage as well as the revitalization of cultural landscapes, sustainable development and urban planning, with a particular focus on the Central and Eastern European region and UNESCO World Heritage sites and urban complexes. Its goal for 2022-2024 is research and education on cultural heritage in the process of change.

The Chair’s multifaceted activities are part of UNESCO’s areas of interest and activity, including direct implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This manifests itself in both the teaching and research work of the Chair. The design and implementation of the Urban Studies program (a course taught by the Chair at KUE), as well as the Heritage Academy (a postgraduate program implemented in cooperation with the International Cultural Center through Malopolska School of Public Administration) is the implementation of, among other things, Sustainable Development Goals SDG 4 (Good quality education) and SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities). The latter goal also includes, among other things, the Chair’s current joint project on cities in the face of crises, problems and challenges. At the core of the Chair’s values is providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development, which also includes the sustainable use of culture and cultural heritage for socio-economic development.

UNESCO’s mission for 2022-2029 is to facilitate international cooperation and collaboration. As part of its implementation, the Chair joined an international consortium of university partners, including UNESCO Chairs, Heritopolis, in September 2022. The consortium operates within the framework of the MetroHub initiative, led by UN-Habitat. And through cooperation with the Chair’s partners including Europa Nostra, the International Cultural Center and the National Heritage Institute, the Chair works to promote, monitor, research and protect and safeguard the world’s cultural heritage (including World Heritage sites).