World Heritage Day – The R’s of Sustainability Challenge

World Heritage Day – The R’s of Sustainability Challenge

This year as we celebrate World Heritage Day (April 18th) and the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value that make Bath a City of global significance, BPT highlights that the next biggest threat to the City of Bath World Heritage Site is climate change, mitigation and adaptation.

“Climate change is one of the most significant threats to World Heritage properties, jeopardizing the disappearance of their Outstanding Universal Value, their integrity and the potential for economic and social development at the local level.” Say UNESCO.

 In environmental education and when discussing climate actions to mitigate the effects of climate change most school age children would have heard about the 3 R’s of sustainability Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

But why stop there?

 When considering this set of guidelines for sustainability in our towns and cities, and World Heritage Sites BPT propose 5 more.

  1. Reduce…  carbon emissions, reliance on the car, mono-tenure housing, parking, hard surfaces, runoff, and disturbance to green spaces and trees.
  2. Reuse… previously developed sites, vacant properties, existing buildings, embedded carbon and natural resources, and land for local food production.
  3. Recycle… materials in construction, rainwater, and waste.
  4. Repair… maintain existing and historic buildings, public space and infrastructure.
  5. Resist and Refuse… development that is not sustainable or carbon neutral, has high carbon construction materials, and demolition with high carbon costs.
  6. Rethink… public policy to shape green practices, approaches to multimodal transport, how development can be even better for the environment, approaches to materials and energy sources that are renewable, greener and lower in carbon.
  7. Retrofit…  existing buildings and infrastructure with smart and innovative technologies, carbon saving adaptations and renewable energy.
  8. Resilience… strengthening and safeguarding places through management and governance; responding to change and developing solutions, and building resilience to a changing climate through adaptation.

Ok so that’s technically 6, and of course there could be even more. Which R’s would you add?

Redesign, reform, regenerate, regulate, remodel, replace, restore, regrow… ?


Join us for a challenge. How many R’s would you propose and why?

We’d love to hear which you would add and why.

TWEET US @BathPresTrust or join the conversation on Instagram @bath_preservation_trust


You can find more World Heritage Day resources on our website here!