Making our city work better for local residents

The city of Santiago has become a successful tourist destination, but this has put great pressure on the local population and the city’s infrastructure, particularly housing provision and waste management. Tourism is often perceived as a nuisance to local communities, and as a result many no longer reside in the historic centre. The Santiago Consortium has undertaken programmes to restore housing and improve traditional shopfronts to strengthen the local economy against the impact of tourism.

Santiago World Heritage site

Santiago encourages alternative routes through the city to relieve the most densely visited areas, and raises awareness with local communities of the value of historic public spaces and their importance to the local community.

These spaces are not simply museum pieces for tourists, but an integral part of the living and breathing city of Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago World Heritage site
© Consorcio de Santiago

For local residents, the Santiago Consortium promotes various programmes to support the restoration of historic homes in the World Heritage Site, offering technical advice and financial support.

Santiago World Heritage site
© Consorcio de Santiago

The objective is to foster a sense of stewardship among residents for their city, to encourage a culture of care and maintenance. By focusing on the people living in and using the site, the city has redirected the narrative towards the benefit of local people, without compromising the offer to tourists.

Santiago World Heritage site
© Consorcio de Santiago

World Heritage Site fact file

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The Old Town of Santiago de Compostela, the famous pilgrimage site in north-west Spain, became a World Heritage Site in 1985. With its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings, the Old Town of Santiago is one of the world’s most beautiful urban areas. The oldest monuments are grouped around the tomb of St James and the cathedral, which contains the remarkable Pórtico de la Gloria.

It is a living city which, since its inscription on the World Heritage list, has developed policies for the maintenance of the resident population and the improvement of the material status of the architecture, through rehabilitation and restoration programs.

The city is also the destination and cultural origin of the Camino de Santiago, a heritage pilgrimage, also inscribed on the World Heritage list and recognized as the first European cultural itinerary.

Santiago de Compostela land occupation

These data maps have been produced by A’Urba for Bordeaux Metropole. Within the AtlaS.WH partnership, Bordeaux was responsible for providing management tools to illustrate key land use data comparable between the five partner cities.

Santiago de Compostela dataflow map