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Zollverein has played a pioneering role in setting standards for protecting, conserving, and developing an industrial heritage site from a regional, national, and international point of view; but what are the criteria for identifying good practice for industrial heritage sites?

Good Practice Wheel: Eight Criteria

We suggest eight criteria that must be considered for good practice for industrial heritage sites. They are related to each other, and constitute the Good Practice Wheel. This systematisation is based on concerns defined in the World Heritage Convention, its Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of World Heritage sites, as well as the policies and principles of UNESCO, the German Commission for UNESCO, and their partner organisations such as ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and TICCIH (The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage).
The Good Practice Wheel can be spun so that each of the criteria is a possible starting point for taking action.


Conservation of the outstanding universal value is the main concern in safeguarding the heritage of each UNESCO World Heritage site.


Appropriate forms of reuse, especially with regard to abandoned industrial sites and landscapes, are needed to ensure long-term conservation.

Communities Engagement

Communities engagement helps to ensure the recognition and use of the heritage site, and can contribute to community empowerment.

Sustainable Development & Climate Change

Sustainable development and responses to climate change are two core concerns of UNESCO, and must always be considered in decision making.


Information and educational activities are essential for awareness-building among communities, visitors, and users. Here, access (physical, virtual, emotional, and intellectual) to the site can be improved.

Urban Development

Urban development should enhance deprived urban environments (which are often the result of industrial production) and aims to integrate the former gated industrial site into the urban setting.


Research and heritage impact assessments help to understand the historic evidence and its vulnerability to changes. 


The management organises different stakeholders, authorities, and communities in the planning processes; it frames the overall objectives as well as the imperative associated with various activities and projects; and oversees monitoring and reporting procedures.