The contribution is based on the results of a fieldwork research, carried out in the context of a cooperation project between the Laboratory of Social Geography of the University of Florence, the Afghan Ministry for Urban Development, and the Municipality of Bamiyan, aimed at developing and implementing the Master Plan for the city of Bamiyan (Afghanistan), included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Starting from this experience, we intend to illustrate how the safeguard of the cultural landscape becomes part of urban planning in Bamiyan, after the inscription in the WHL, in 2003. Notably, we propose to illustrate the difficulties of harmonizing the UNESCO approach to landscape as heritage with local agricultural practices and to analyse how protection aims have been technically translated into local urban planning tools for land management.