Francesco Bandarin, architect and planner, is the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre since September 2000 and became UNESCO Assistant Director General for Culture in May 2010. He graduated in Architecture in Venice (Italy) and in City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). Since 1980, he has been Professor of Urban Planning at the School of Architecture of Venice. He also worked as consultant for bilateral and multilateral organizations on city projects. He was involved in two major initiatives, the Venice Safeguarding projects and the preparation of the year 2000 celebrations in Rome. He published a number of books and articles, mainly in urban conservation and the urban environment.