Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS


SUSTAINING HERITAGE Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 513668
Gefördert unter: FP6-POLICIES
Land: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - SUSTAINING HERITAGE (Sustaining Europe's cultural heritage: from research to Policy')

The project SUSTAINING HERITAGE objectives, were in the following three areas: cultural heritage policy, research dissemination, sustainability, cultural heritage and society.

The project intended to showcase examples of cultural heritage scientific research leading to successful policy development with the aim of promoting best practice. There has been a need to disseminate the undoubted high quality and quantity of European scientific research for the protection of cultural heritage to all stakeholders involved with cultural heritage. The SUSTAINING HERITAGE project provided a platform for the dissemination of recent research carried out under the Fifth and Sixth Framework Programmes (FP5 and FP6), to policymakers, managers, conservators as well as other researchers. The issue of sustainability and how it can be implemented through actions on or with the environment, economy and society is high on the European research agenda. The SUSTAINING HERITAGE project addressed this issue by demonstrating how sustainability principles could be applied in the field of cultural heritage protection, to improve protection and access to cultural heritage and thus maintain a vital link between cultural heritage and the citizen.

The project explored the concept of sustainability in the developed countries of the European continent and the impact of this emerging concept on the philosophy and practice of cultural heritage protection. This has been found to be best approached by understanding traditional materials, techniques and skills revealed through scientific research. Science was also demonstrated to provide a rich resource for the development of socio-economic research because of its ability to identify gaps in knowledge and information.

One of the greatest difficulties in the application of sound sustainability principles is ensuring that an equitable balance among social, economic and environmental measures is achieved. Cultural heritage, by the very nature of its longevity, is an exemplar of sustainability in practice. Scientific research for the protection of cultural heritage aims to enhance this longevity and by doing so, helps to relieve the pressure on the world's natural resources. In other words, by preserving and maintaining one historic building and giving it a sustainable use, the need for another new building is delayed. This conserves both materials and energy use in their production and transport as well as the skills embodied in its design and construction.

The project also showed how the principles of cultural heritage sustainability could be extended to wider issues in society, thereby demonstrating the value of what is being done in the cultural heritage field to a wider group of policy- and decision-makers.

Phase 1: Pre-conference preparation
WP1. Project coordination
WP2. Conference preparation

Phase 2: Conference delivery
WP3. Opening plenary session
WP4. Plenary session on current research
WP5. Four parallel workshops
WP6. Closing plenary session
WP7. Poster exhibition
WP8. Study visits

Phase 3: Post-conference work
WP9. Post-conference publication.

The conference objectives were met as follows:

Cultural heritage policy
The conference succeeded in bringing together researchers and policy-makers putting into practice the theme of the conference of sustaining cultural heritage by using research in policy-making. The participation of keynote cultural heritage speakers from the Council of Europe (Daniel Therond), UNESCO (Christian Manhart) and ICCROM (Bent Eshoj) together with local and national politicians from the United Kingdom and Malta (the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Emeritus President of the Republic of Malta) on the first day, provided the context for presentations of cultural heritage scientific research that had led to successful policy development with the aim of promoting best practice.

Among the presentations that addressed this area included enhanced stakeholder involvement in the commissioning of United Kingdom government funded research consortia and managing the research process and outputs. The national heritage training group: a model for stakeholder engagement, research and policy delivery and valuing culture and heritage: recent research and future application.

The roundtable panel for the discussion of the theme 'Investing in knowledge for sustainability of cultural heritage' consisted of United Kingdom and European policy makers from English heritage, the national trust and the world tourism organisation (Dr Simon Thurley, Fiona Reynolds and Dawid De Villiers), the international editor of Nature (Dr Philip Campbell) and elected members of the European parliament (Dr Cristina Gutierrez Cortines and Dott. Vittorio Prodi).

Research dissemination
Continuing the valuable tradition of earlier conferences, this project was successful in disseminating high quality European scientific research. The SUSTAINING HERITAGE project provided a platform for the dissemination of 57 workshop presentations including 31 European funded research projects carried out under FP5 and FP6 to a worldwide audience from 27 countries including Australia, the United States and Ukraine. The deliberate intention to offer 16 bursaries to the more disadvantaged participants also helped to disseminate the research more widely than would otherwise have occurred.

Sustainability, cultural heritage and society
The link between sustainability, cultural heritage and society was demonstrated in the conference through research that aimed to maintain the vital link between cultural heritage and the citizen improving both protection and access to heritage such as archaeological research and the public. Equally important in demonstrating this link is the understanding of traditional materials, techniques and skills through scientific research which was discussed in the presentation, response of historic materials - a key issue in making cultural heritage policy. The presentation on cultural heritage monuments and historic buildings as value generators in a post-industrial economy demonstrated that research for cultural heritage provides a rich resource for the development of socio-economic research because of its ability to identify gaps in knowledge and information.

European conference declaration on sustaining cultural heritage research
The conference ended decisively with an endorsement by the participants of the aims of the conference in a declaration on the future of European scientific research for cultural heritage protection. The declaration was drafted in advance and presented to the conference participants in the morning of the first day. The participants were given time to reflect on the declaration and to provide written comments back to the organisers. The comments were analysed and the declaration was modified to take on board the suggestions of the participants.

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