Chronicle

Open Heritage
October 10, 2018
Since 2018, the Center for Urban History has been engaged in an international project "Open Heritage." It is a 4-year-long research and innovations program funded by the European Union within the Horizon 2020. The project intends to explore and scale out models of cooperation between different stakeholders for socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable re-use of heritage sites in Europe.

OpenHeritage aims at identifying, improving, testing and disseminating a set of combinable, multipliable and upscalable models of multi-stakeholder cooperation for the socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and resilient re-use of heritage sites in Europe. 

Within the OpenHeritage project, a consortium composed of research institutions, universities, financial organisations, developers and community involvement experts will explore existing policies and legal frameworks, development procedures, multi-stakeholder cooperations, crowdsourcing mechanisms, financial instruments and shared management formats. OpenHeritage starts from the assumption that heritage preservation and management efforts are often inefficient and unsustainable without the integrated application of interdisciplinary knowledge, innovative financial, business and governance models, and efficient multi-stakeholder cooperation. In the midst of a demographic transition in Europe, abandoned and underused public and private areas represent a significant burden on the public and private sectors, and missed opportunities from the viewpoints of community cohesion, social integration and potential economic activities. While many national governments, regional administrations or city municipalities as well as private owners have been struggling to give meaningful new functions and sustainable operational models to their unused or underused assets, community groups, citizen initiatives, public-civic cooperations, cooperative developers, community finance platforms, policy think tanks and alternative finance organisations have introduced new practices for the adaptive reuse of heritage sites, often invisible for public actors and EU institutions. OpenHeritage is building on these practices, by exploring, connecting, enhancing and developing them, as well as bringing them to another level by investigating their transferability between various socio-economic contexts.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776766