The city was placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012 after receiving its status in 2004.

By Cailey Rizzo
July 22, 2021
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The UNESCO World Heritage Committee removed the English city of Liverpool from its list of World Heritage sites "due to the irreversible loss" of land around its historic Victorian docks. 

"The Committee considers that these constructions are detrimental to the site's authenticity and integrity," UNESCO announced in a press release Wednesday. 

Liverpool's docklands were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2004 for their "outstanding universal value." But as developers have taken over the Liverpool waterfront, shadowing the historic docks with modern commercial buildings.  

However, the city of Liverpool was then placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012, after plans for the proposed development of Liverpool Waters emerged. Over the past decade, Liverpool's waterfront has transformed with a bevy of modern buildings, including plans for a new soccer stadium that will cost more than $680 million (£500 million) to construct. 

Liverpool
Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Liverpool's historic center and docklands were placed on the World Heritage List as mementos of the growth of world trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. The docks were also renowned for their technological advancements and management techniques, many of which are still used today at docklands around the world. 

Officials in Liverpool may contest UNESCO's decision. Joanne Anderson, the city mayor, told The Guardian that it had been more than a decade since UNESCO officials visited the city. Steve Rotheram, the metro mayor of the Liverpool city region, told the newspaper that it was "a decision taken on the other side of the world by people who do not appear to understand the renaissance that has taken place in recent years." 

Liverpool is the third place to be removed from the World Heritage List. Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary and Dresden's Elbe Valley have also lost their status due to preservation issues. 

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.