The strategic decisions of UNESCO to focus the World Heritage programme on the protection of historic urban and cultural landscapes on a large-scale and on the sustainable development of cultural heritage have generated increasingly more overlaps between cultural heritage preservation and core tasks of urban and regional development. 

It was against this background that the UNESCO Chair in World Cultural and Urban Landscapes was set up in 2012 at the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning at RWTH Aachen University. The goal of the UNESCO Chair was to support the conservation and sustainable development World Heritage properties on a large-scale. This concerned particularly Historic Urban and Cultural Landscapes facing high pressure to change inscribed in the World Heritage List. As a spin-off of the UNESCO Chair, the michael kloos planning and heritage consultancy office works closely together with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris and the international advisory bodies ICOMOS and ICCROM in order to focus on goal-oriented and solution-oriented advice in UNESCO World Heritage properties.