Message from the Principal Officers

Message from the Chairperson

MATSUI Koji Chairperson of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Kyoto


The League of Historical Cities is the international organization of municipal governments established to strengthen the exchanges among historical cities to pursue the shared theme, “Preservation and Development of the Historical Cities.”

In 1987, the City of Kyoto called for the 1st World Conference of Historical Cities, which expanded to form a league in 1994. Since then, the City of Kyoto has taken significant responsibility as Chair as well as Secretariat.

As the world has been incessantly experiencing its divisions and deepening isolations, the future is not foreseeable now. Being in such an era, the historical cities, the creation of human wisdom, are to play an ever-greater role. I am convinced that strengthening the interactions among the cities in the world regardless of differences in countries and ethnic groups will lead us to realize world peace.

Kyoto, once called “Heiankyo” (the capital in peace), was built by the predecessors with their sincere wish for peace and has scrupulously spent one thousand two hundred (1,200) years. The City of Kyoto shall devote itself for further development of the League and world peace, and we highly appreciate the continuous close cooperation and collaborations with the director cities and the member cities.

Message from the Directors

Ugur Ibrahim ALTAY Director and Vice-Chairperson of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Konya

Ugur Ibrahim ALTAY

The cities have always played an important role in the stage of history. Some cities have led the civilizations while some cities have been established, shaped and gifted to human beings by civilizations. Today, we witness the traces of a big civilization in each member of the League of Historical Cities.

Similarly, Konya is a city, which hosts the first settlement in the history of humankind established 9000 years ago, Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk that is also inscribed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Konya also served as the capital city of Seljuk Empire for more than 200 years. Having such a deep history and civilization is one of the main points which brings us closer with the League of Historical Cities.

In the globalizing world, the cities are changing constantly. Some are getting larger and larger while some are becoming smaller. Some cities are being visited by millions. But some are barely known by the citizens living in that country. This means that not only the products but also the cities are becoming brands. In order to be a brand city, a city where everyone desires to go and live should be created with fashion, art, music and technology as well as cultural diversity, historical fabric, touristic and sportive activities. Brand cities provide qualified habitats, business spaces and high aesthetics along with squares, streets, pavements, infrastructure and modern transport opportunities.

The League of Historical Cities and the connection between the members of it enables members to benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge, and spread the best practices in the world.

I am truly proud to be the Vice Chairman of this unique network, and I believe that we will build cities that combine history with modernity. I will do my best to raise awareness of the importance of historical cities in other international organizations such as Union of Municipalities of Turkish World and UCLG, both of which I am President.

YE Niuping Director and Vice-Chairperson of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Xian

YE Niuping

As an ancient capital of thirteen dynasties in China, it is a great honor that Xian has been re-elected to the Board of Directors at the General Assembly held on the occasion of the 16th World Conference of Historical Cities in Bursa. I will make every effort to work with all the LHC members to actively promote cultural exchange among historical cities for the protection of cultural heritage and modernization of urban construction. For the future, the city of Xian will fully demonstrate the value of cultural heritage and strengthen international exchanges with other historical cities. Also, we will continuously enhance the level of protection and utilization of cultural heritage and create a better living environment for our citizens.

Ines SCHILLER Director of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Bad Ischl


It is an honour for the City of Bad Ischl to have been elected as a Member of the Board of the League of Historical Cities. The City has been active in the League in the past years and will continue to play an active part also in the future. Bad Ischl has been a famous spa resort for royal families and celebrities and is an international city which attracts many tourists from other parts of Austria as well as from around the world. We are very interested in actively participating in interregional and interlocal organizations.

JOO Nak-young Director of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Gyeongju

JOO Nak-young

I am honored by the designation of Gyeongju as one of the board member of the League of Historical Cities once again through the General Assembly of the LHC 2018 held on the occasion of the 16th World Conference of the Historical Cities.

Gyeongju was the capital city of Silla for 992 years. Gyeongju embraces Buddhism, science, and vibrant ancient culture that blossomed by the artistry of the Silla people, and the great spirits of Hwarangdo that enabled the unification of the three kingdoms. The evergreen spirit of Silla has been alive here for nearly a thousand years. We try to strengthen its identity as a historical and cultural city along with sustainable development.
Historical cities with excellent cultural resources must be preserved at the global level and passed onto our descendents. The role of the League of Historical Cities and its member cities is highly important in order for us to globally benefit from these precious historical cultures.
Gyeongju, as board member of the League of Historical Cities shall assertively assist with and participate not only in broader exchange between the member cities but also the League’s activities in order to seek resolution of various tasks confronted and advanced in accordance with the purpose of the establishment of the League.

Aleksander MISZALSKI Director of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Kraków

Aleksander MISZALSKI

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted that Kraków has joined the Board of Directors of the League of Historical Cities during the World Conference in Andong. As a founding member of this organisation, we have been present in the League's activities from its foundation.

The League of Historical Cities is an important and one of the oldest international organisations working for the preservation of world heritage. It consistently promotes peace and cooperation between cities, recognising that in modern times nations, local communities and regions complement each other as partners.

Kraków is the second largest city in Poland. It is a dynamic and modern centre for the development of modern technology and business. Kraków is a centre of culture and science, as well as a congress and festival city and an UNESCO Creative City for Literature. In the past Kraków was the capital of the state and the seat of Polish kings. The Historic Centre of Kraków was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978 as one of the first of the world heritage sites in history. We care about heritage. Both local - created and developed by residents and strengthening their identity - and the heritage of countries and nations around the world – “outstanding universal value”. We believe in the idea of a shared responsibility to protect the heritage of humanity in its fullest diversity and all the values it brings to the communities it belongs to. Our experiences - individual and collective, our knowledge, our understanding of the world, even our skills are all rooted in heritage. We need our heritage for our better future.

Zoran JANKOVIC Director of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Ljubljana


I am honoured that Ljubljana, one of the youngest members, has been elected to the board of directors for the League of Historical Cities. Ljubljana strives to ensure its citizens and visitors a quality life in the city by renovating cultural heritage and its connection to modern life, and realising its sustainable strategy of Vision 2025, which follows a comprehensive approach to environment management. The Vision incorporates a plan for environment protection, sustainable mobility, sustainable energy supply, and electro-mobility strategy. As the European Green Capital 2016 in the LHC we will strive for collaboration and exchange of experience among cities in order to preserve cultural heritage for the future generations and guarantee quality living conditions for the citizens.

Mohammadhassan ASADI Director of the League of Historical Cities, Mayor of Shiraz

Mohammadhassan ASADI

I am honored that Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran, has been elected to the board of directors for the League of Historical Cities. As the mayor of a city with precious and rich heritage and culture, I strongly believe that no development vision without a solid cultural base will be sustainable. Therefore, culture in all its manifestations should lie at the heart of our considerations if we seek to build vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive cities. Such a human-centered approach to development places special emphasis on heritage, both in its tangible and intangible forms. How we should strike an optimal balance between preservation and growth is a major challenge which can be best dealt with when we share experience, knowledge and best practices through the valuable platform and networking opportunities LHC provides all its members with. Equally important, through these exchanges, we can ensure a better understanding of the inherent diversity in our world and learn to respect different cultures, traditions and ways of living, which in turn will lead to cultural peace. This is a cause we will serve and support together with all LHC member cities.