The UK Government nominated Maritime Greenwich for World Heritage status in 1996 from a 1986 Tentative List of sites for future nomination. Following an evaluation of the Site and its nomination document by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Maritime Greenwich was inscribed on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at its meeting in Naples, Italy in 1997. Maritime Greenwich is currently one of 1031 sites on the World Heritage List considered to be of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).
Ten criteria have been agreed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as the basis for assessing OUV. Maritime Greenwich was inscribed on the World Heritage List against four criteria:
Criterion (i): The public and private buildings and the Royal Park at Greenwich form an exceptional ensemble that bears witness to human artistic and creative endeavour of the highest quality.
Criterion (ii): Maritime Greenwich bears witness to European architecture at an important stage of its evolution, exemplified by the work of great architects such as Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren who, inspired by developments on the continent of Europe, each shaped the architectural development of subsequent generations, while the Park exemplifies the interaction of people and nature over two centuries.
Criterion (iv): The Palace, Royal Naval College and Royal Park demonstrate the power, patronage and influence of the Crown in the 17th and 18th centuries and its illustration through the ability to plan and integrate culture and nature into a harmonious whole.
Criterion (vi): Greenwich is associated with outstanding architectural and artistic achievements as well as with scientific endeavour of the highest quality through the development of navigation and astronomy at the Royal Observatory, leading to the establishment of the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as world standards.