The citadel town of Erbil represents a distinct urban entity and should be treated as such. It is not simply an agglomeration of a number of houses and other buildings located within a complex system of narrow alleyways. The citadel town is the unique heritage of human experience and genius of thousands of years. It tells the story of how hundreds of past generations interacted with their natural environment and how they developed their way of life based on their cultural norms and values.
Therefore, any attempt to conserve and develop this citadel should deal with it not as the sum of individual parts but as a total environment. There are so many lessons, both historical and architectural, that can be learned from this town. Its remaining buildings, houses, and urban spaces and features, represent an extremely valuable and irreplaceable cultural resource that should not be allowed to disappear forever.
Recently, the citadel town has been included as one of the 100 most endangered cultural sites in the world by the World Monument Fund (WMF) in New York. Efforts are also being made to have it included as one of UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
The existing fabric today consists of about 250 buildings most of which are courtyard houses from early 19th century.. In fact, there is no accurate survey or official record which ascertain the true age of all existing buildings