Old Cities, New Challenges

A Course for Urban Conservation in Southeast Asia

A twelve-week online training course.
September 11­–December 4, 2021

Applications for the 2021 course have closed. For questions, please contact OCNC21@getty.edu

The Southeast Asia region faces formidable challenges to the conservation of its urban cultural heritage from population growth, urbanization trends, (before COVID-19) intensifying tourism, along with economic and infrastructure development. To help improve conservation practice within the region, we are partnering with Think City to offer an online course for Southeast Asian urban planners and architects examining methodologies, practical tools, and techniques for the conservation of historic places. First held in Penang, Malaysia in 2018, this course moves online for 2021.

Course Description

Created for mid-career urban planners and architects from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, this course seeks to teach participants how to manage the challenges of a historic site in their respective cities.

Topics to be addressed include:

Examination of international approaches, including Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)

Documentation of tangible and intangible heritage assets, including cultural mapping

Identification of cultural significance of historic places, resulting in a statement of significance

Heritage economics, related to cultural capital and sustainability

Infill development in historic areas

Goals, strategies and components of an urban conservation plan, resulting in participants’ drafting a plan for a specific site

The Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach, particularly the "six steps'' and "four tools," will be used as a key methodology to demonstrate how useful they are in sustainable urban conservation. The course will also explore the meaning and implications of sustainability concerning the United Nations Habitat-III sustainable development goals.


A team of eight instructors and invited speakers will share their practical expertise related to the conservation of historic places.

Course Director

Jeff Cody, Architectural historian and Senior Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute


This course is offered entirely as a twelve-week remote-learning experience using the Moodle learning management system. Participants will attend live 90-minute sessions Saturday mornings with instructors.

After these live sessions, short pre-recorded presentations will be available for participants for independent learning until the next week’s session.

There will be no live sessions on October 16 and November 27.

For applicants selected to participate in the course, there will be a pre-course, live session with instructors on August 28, 2021, to clarify technical logistics, answer questions, and make other arrangements.


The course is restricted to thirty mid-career urban planners and architects living or working in one of the ten countries in the ASEAN network.

Course Fee

For those selected, a course fee of US $500 is due to Think City.


For questions, please contact OCNC21@getty.edu

*Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Page updated: August 2021