How to become an OWHC member

Your city would like to become a member of the OWHC?

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Your city, on the one hand, has a site located within its territory which represents a living urban ensemble or a property within an urban context inscribed on the World Heritage List whose Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is recognized by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee and which meets at least one of the criteria (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v) or (vi) of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and, on the other hand, adheres to the values of the OWHC.
  • Yes: Go to point 2
  • No: Become an observer member*

*An observer member represents any city that does not meet with the conditions of admission of a member as mentioned in point 1, but is interested in being a part of the OWHC network.

2. If yes, are you the Mayor, a City Councillor or the person in charge of heritage in your City?

  • Yes: Send us a request for membership
  • No: Contact one of those persons in your city so he/she can send us a request for membership

Services to the OWHC members

Any city wishing to become a member in good standing of the OWHC (as a member or observer member) must pay an annual membership fee, in which case it will be entitled to the following services offered to each category of membership:


Annual membership fee

OWHC membership fees for cities are determined as follows:

Membership fee = variable portion [GNI /capita x population/1 000 000] + fixed portion

The variable portion is determined by the formula [GNI /capita x population/1 000 000]

GNI/capita data are determined by the World Bank. They consist of comparable data between all countries and are determined by World Bank experts. Population data are updated based on the online database CityPopulation.de which provides statistics for the main cities and agglomerations worldwide.

The fixed portion is the same for all cities of the same category.

These categories are also based on the GNI /capita and are numbered from 1 to 4 in ascending order of national incomes (see table below). Accordingly, a Category 4 city will have a higher fixed income portion than a Category 1 city. These categories are those identified by the World Bank.

Categories based on GNI/capita (in current US dollars):
Source: World Bank
Fixed portion
Cat. 1 Low income ≤ $1,025 $500
Cat. 2 Lower-middle income ≥ $1,026 and ≤ $4,035 $750
Cat. 3 Upper-middle income ≥ $4,036 and ≤ $12,475 $1 000
Cat. 4 High income ≥ $12,476 $2 000


Request for information

For any additional question regarding your request to join the Organization of World Heritage Cities as a member or an observer member, please contact the General Secretariat at the following address: [email protected].