A difficult category with a lot of good "higher middling" sites among a few World Class ones -and with 27 of the 35 coming from Europe.
The following European ones must be definite "YES"
Edinburgh, Istanbul, Prague, Rome, Venice
Leaving 22 – I have visited 19 of them and wouldn't suggest that any are not worth seeing – nearly every one is "fine" in its own way but they do create a degree of (near) duplication and Eurocentricty which we need to work hard at removing! Quite a lot of "Maybe" I am afraid! But most of these just need a "completeness check" when we have assembled our "YES" list to ensure that their "type" is covered elsewhere.
-Berat/Gjirokastra - NO – not the best "Ottoman" town
-Caceres – NO – Was there in late Sept- pleasant walled town with towers and stork nests etc but nothing really outstanding
-Bath – MAYBE– Its Georgian elements can be considered to be covered by Edinburgh but what about its "working" baths?
-Cordoba – MAYBE – Does the "Mezquita" get it in? But if I had to choose between it and Granada then the latter would get it.
-Corfu – NO – I don't think its "British" influences are enough!!
-Evora – NO – more "walls", Roman temples and examples of many different architectural styles - but not more than others
-Graz – NO – yet another well preserved old town in Central Europe –but, IMO nothing to raise it above the others
-Lviv – NO – but I last visited it over 50 years ago and really remember very little and can't be absolutely sure whether that means there isn't much there. But how many "central European" multi ethnic cities do we need?
-Lyon – NO – nicely situated but not outstanding in comparison with other European cities
-Matera – MAYBE - There are numerous other "rock cut" structures on the list – and even"Underground cities" (E.g Derinkuyu in Cappadocia) But I feel that this is the best in providing a wider townscape of over and underground structures and still occupied (even if often by "!tourist" businesses!
-Naples – YES – Almost fitted my top 5 European above
-Ohrid – NO – A very "strange" nomination which mixes together lots of different aspects –not sure it really fits here.
-Oporto – MAYBE – depends on whether any other "Portuguese Iberia" sites get in? That is its main claim as far as I am concerned
-Salamanca – MAYBE – I found that the combination of the Cathedrals AND the University AND the overall cityscape all added up. I know they are different but I can't choose between this and Toledo
-Salzburg - YES - as per others
-Segovia – NO - has a very fine aqueduct and Alcazar but these are represented elsewhere and otherwise its cityscape isn't so special.
-Split - MAYBE - A fine collection of Roman all the way through to Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque. And well located. Might just get in?
-Alberobello – MAYBE – (even if it doesn't really belong in this category!) – Dry stone structures have been common across history and geography amd "need" to be re[sented on our reduced list - ("Settlements composed of stone-built houses, often using the drystone technique, are not uncommon round the Mediterranean - in the islands of the Aegean, for example, the aamassi of Pantelleria, the Istrian peninsula, Menorca, or in some parts of the Maghreb" ICOMOS). The Nomination/evaluation makes much of the technique origins in "pre-history" but I was surprised to discover on investigating that most of the "Trulli" on view are 19th C and the 17th C is probably the earliest. However they are both "reresentative" of the technique and also create an "iconic landscape".
-Toledo - YES – its location, size and range of structures and periods give it an edge over others on this list
-Verona – NO – nice Arena and of course "that" balcony. There are quite a lot of the former on the List and the Balcony's "legend" doesn't quite cut it!
-Baku – NO – Perhaps shouldn't be discussed among the European sites but there are plenty of other "Central Asian" type cities on the List and this, IMO, isn't special enough
-Warsaw – NO – ok it is a fine reconstruction but I am not convinced that is a reason to choose it – more importantly does it as a city add to others in the region?
So, having located the bar at a particular height for Europe, how to make sure that it is set equally for non-Europe!
Again, I think there are 3 absolute certain YES - Damascus, Mexico and Jerusalem
-Algiers – NO - . Have visited. The inscription is for the Kasbah rather than the wider mix of old and colonial (ie "Continuity"). Its very poor condition tells against it and there are a fair number of Kasbahs/Medinas on the list – and .eg Marrakesh at least is going to be chosen by us. OK this one is nicely located a "hillside" at a "port" which has its own significant long term history. But its genuinely "historic" buildings are very hidden if they still exist at all – e.g The Beys Palace"?
-Acre - NO - Akko's main value relates to its crusader remains - fort, walls, tunnel etc rather than to its wider inhabited merits - yes it has a small area of souks, khans and a mosque but I don't think they are enough
-Rabat - NO - I still feel that this is a "contrived" site to try to give Morocco's capital a look in as well as the nearby cities of Fez, Meknes etc
-Sanaa - YES - The words "unique" and "outstanding" really do apply to this ensemble
-Zanzibar - NO - We already have Kilwa to represent the earlier period of the Swahili Coast and the influences of, inter alia, Portugal and Oman. Zanzibar's more famous buildings are 19th C - Palace of Wonders, Livingstone's house and Old Dispensary. It is a nice place to visit but i feel it has a greater footprint in the imagination than its remains actually justify .