Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Roadmap for the sustainable development of heritage sites and their environs

A place or region reaps the benefits when it becomes listed as being of special cultural or natural significance, but this can come at the expense of the surrounding area. An EU initiative helped to boost the socioeconomic development of several such sites in Latin America.
Roadmap for the sustainable development of heritage sites and their environs
Sites that become listed by various global or national heritage organisations for their outstanding cultural or natural importance see a boost in economic, social and regional development. However, this boon can negatively affect the surrounding areas if the site itself is not valorised properly.

To address this issue, the EU-funded STRAVAL (Studies, training, socio-economical valorisation and management of natural, cultural and monumental property for the promotion of the local societies of Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Mexico)) project set out to tackle the marginalisation of neighbouring populations at heritage sites in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Project partners began by studying the periphery for each site in Argentina (Luján Religious Tourism), Brazil (Tubarão River and surrounding natural and cultural area that is protected by municipal law) and Mexico (Cuitzeo lake, Route of the Bicentenary of the Independence). The main focus was on the sites' architecture, environment, geology, biodiversity, history and conservation of building materials. The study was complemented by a socioeconomic analysis.

Using the findings as a basis, the STRAVAL team delivered a series of development and business plans to exploit the sites' potential natural assets, property and surroundings, and contribute to the growth of local populations.

Several targeted awareness-raising activities were carried out aimed at key local actors, including teaching modules, training courses, seminars, open days and dissemination materials.

STRAVAL highlighted the importance of conserving, enhancing and promoting natural or monumental heritage in driving regional economies and sustainable growth. Local authorities and the private sector can now greatly benefit from a series of concrete actions introduced by the project.

Related information


Heritage sites, Latin America, STRAVAL, socio-economical valorisation
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