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Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Technical and Organisational Resources Management

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - STORM (Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Technical and Organisational Resources Management)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-05-31

Europe's cultural legacy is one of the richest in the world. It is a beacon that draws millions of people every year to our archaeological sites, churches, castles, monuments, museums, etc. Therefore, the protection and conservation of European Cultural Heritage is a priority for policy makers, guardians of these treasure, plus tourist and educators at the local and national levels. Cultural heritage is a known value. Heritage has effects in other economic sectors in line with the EU policy statement 'Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe's realisation of the value of the EU heritage'.
EU heritage assets are extremely exposed to climate change and natural hazards, which threaten their integrity and may compromise their value. The loss or deterioration of these outstanding assets would negatively affect local and national communities, as well as for their socio-economic value.
The STORM project aims at providing critical decision making tools to all European CH stakeholders affected by climate change and natural hazards. The goal is to provide new innovative capabilities to improve existing processes related to three identified areas: Prevention, Intervention and Policies, planning and processes.
Therefore, the main STORM objectives are:
1. Select, evolve and integrate innovative environment assessment methodologies and services to effectively and accurately process, analyse and map environmental changes and/or natural hazards.
2. Define and implement an innovative methodology and a supporting service for the mitigation of natural hazards and climate change.
3. Provide innovative, cost effective, non-invasive and non-destructive methods and processes.
4. Define and implement models and services for generating and managing a situational picture based on the data/information collected from the field by physical and human sensors and evaluators (crowdsensing).
5. Provide innovative, methodologies, practices and software tools for more reliable maintenance, quick restoration and long-term conservation of the cultural heritage assets.
6. Define a collaboration and knowledge-sharing framework for the community of stakeholders to co-create, share and maintain improved practices, knowledge and experience on the disaster risk reduction practices.
7. Propose adaptations, changes in existing policies and validation of new knowledge in government processes.
8. Cost analysis for the sites protection against natural hazards exploiting the STORM data analytics tools.
Finally, the five STORM pilot sites and all the involved partners have contributed to assess and validate of the project outcomes, running experiments in two rounds to ensure an iterative process to improve the STORM solutions. All partners successfully implemented the experimental scenarios and provided detailed journal entries of their drills and experiments.
During the project a general overview on the current practices in management and conservation of cultural heritage, based on guidelines, principles and recommendations developed in the past decades along Europe was provided. Existing classification of cultural sites in terms of structures, material and artefacts was evaluated in order to define possible synergies. Methodologies for quick assessment of damage have been analysed. A research on existing and emerging methods deployed in surveying of sites and comparative analysis of existing technologies and practices emphasizing on eco-sustainability and noninvasive/destructive characteristics was done. The project released a survey of the legal context and administrative, organizational and functional structures of civil protection and cultural heritage management services in the five countries with a collection of information regarding the national legal frameworks and procedures for cultural heritage management and Civil Protection.
During the first reporting period, effort was also spent to define a methodology with various strategies to manage disaster risk ex-ante and ex-post an event, via the integration of short term and long term applications, to enable improved decision making and faster reaction to disaster prevention and recovery speed up, including a prioritization component. As a result, a hazard map for the pilot sites have been defined and reported along with a detailed specification of the Web-GIS interface.
In the end of the project the total number of dissemination and communication action was 262 (111 in the first period and 151 in the second one) and average of 13,1 per Partner in the 36 months of project duration. Yet, twelve days STORM Academy held in Rome and Viterbo with 60 hours. The most important element of the STORM scientific dissemination is the production of a book published with the Scientific Publisher named Pisa University Press with the title: “Cultural Heritage Resilience Against Climate Change and Natural Hazards. Methodologies, Procedures, Technologies and Policy improvements achieved by H2020 700191 STORM project”.
Finally, the project team worked out the possibility to create an EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping) dedicated to project outcomes exploitation.
STORM offers an international and multiform support to Entities engaged in the safeguard of cultural heritage regarding the possibility to adopt a trans-local collaborative approach for advancing innovation processes affecting the resilience of natural hazards. Improvement of STORM innovation capacity could be described as: processes innovation, technology innovation and service innovation upon existing processes related to three identified areas, namely Prevention, Intervention and Policies, planning and processes, in a holistic matrix approach: 1) the first area is related to the organisational model, which is allowing the systemic interaction between the multidisciplinary actors involved in a cultural heritage site, when unpredictable events damaging the archaeological sites occur and how they can be prepared; 2) the second area is related to innovative technologies, are being developed and tested to support the collaboration among the CH professionals during the emergency process. 3) the third area of the STORM service innovation is related to the improved networking capability among sites, which allow the exchange of practices and the capitalisation of past experiences. This threefold model at the same time represents a driver for economic development and growth.
Relating the social impact, the society will benefit from the project outcomes since STORM solutions foster safety and protection of the cultural heritage, one of the most relevant patrimonies of Europe. Historical assets are the cultural identities of societies. They play important roles to transfer cultural belongings to next generations. The level of protection of such structures from natural hazards will be an indication of the socio-economic positions of societies in future as well as their economic and social recoveries in the aftermath of disaster. With this regard, the direct and indirect consequences of disasters on cultural infrastructures need to be addressed.
Furthermore, a general positive effect expected from the project results lays in the revalorization of the historic environment using eco-innovative solutions, generating a clear positive impact on the sense of place that people have, which in turn can impact on social inclusion and regeneration.
The STORM project objectives