Most of the discussion about WH sites is subjective with each person giving their own overall impressions of the site. Everyone's reaction and opinion is different. Moreover how do you compare the Alhambra in Granada with the Taj Mahal or Stonehenge. They are all very different but each is marvellous in its own way.
We can never (and should never) rule out our subjective opinions but it would be useful if we could compile a "scoresheet" for the various sites as this would guide our thoughts and hopefully lead to a more considered rection than just a "gut feeling."
The big problem is that any WHS can mean different things to different people. A temple in Japan could have deep cultural significance to a Japanese person whilst a European would just see a temple that to the untutored eye looks like any other temple. Similarly, the Beemster polder doesn't seem to inspire much enthusiasm from forum members but it is important as an example of imaginative and innovative engineering and it has had a dramatic effect on the lives and culture of the Dutch people.
Would it be possible to develop a scoring system for sites whereby they would all be judged on a variety of criteria? Hopefully, over time, a lot of people would vote on each site using the same criteria and a consensus could be reached.
The various criteria could be looked at separately and allow a "league table " of sites for, say, Tourism Interest or Historical Significance.
This is a first attempt:
Scoring system (Cultural) Maximum points
Uniqueness - (International, Regional, National) 20
Current impact - (What are the first impressions of the
site. Is it dramatic or completely ordinary?) 10
Historical importance 20
Creative genius 10
Tourism importance. (The relevance to the average
tourist. This could use the Michelin definitions of
"Worth a journey" or "Worth a detour." 20
In this example the maximum points add up to 80. It would be nice if we could have one or two more criteria to make it add up to 100.
Scoring system (Natural)
The problem here is that a natural landscape can mean very different things to different people. I am struggling to find relevant criteria for natural sites but here are three ideas (and no scoring suggestions). Can anyone add to this?
2) Appearance/impact (Does it look dramatic/attractive or just mundane)
3) Importance (How important is it that this particular environment should survive)
If you think this idea has any merit could you come up with suggested criteria for judging sites and the weight each criteria should have in the overall score.