September 24, 2018
ReHERIT: Common Responsibility for Shared Heritage

Preservation, management and actualization of shared heritage in Lviv and Uman

Lviv, as a major center of tourism in Ukraine and culturally important city for Polish, Jewish and Ukrainian history  and Uman, as the biggest center of Hasidic pilgrimage and important site of Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian history highlight both challenges and great potential of cultural heritage for inclusive and sustainable local development. Between these cities there is area with many towns that belong to or imagined within different patrimonies - Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish. Together they symbolize complexity of borderland history and richness of European heritage. Yet currently we often face and observe tensions and conflicts instead of exploring great potential of heritage assets for local development. In Lviv for years there were numerous complaints and court cases addressing neglect of Jewish sites; tensions accompanied renewal of Polish sites. Uman regularly features in local, national, and international media as a conflicted place, where symbolic struggle occasionally and sadly becomes physical. For creating sustainable and respectful ecosystem for local heritage, it is critical to overcome existing prejudices and segregation and build productive and transparent cooperation between different actors of multicultural heritage in these cities. 

In the summer of 2018, the Center for Urban History along with its partners is launching the two-year project "ReHERIT: Common Responsibility for Shared Heritage". The project aims at raising awareness about local contexts, diverse and underexplored potential of heritage assets; enhancing skills and providing new approaches and models for productive cooperation among local authorities (Las) and civic society organizations (CSOs); enabling actualization of heritage by assessing existing cultural, touristic, and business infrastructure with stakeholders’ engagement and residents’ involvement; exploring possibilities to improve management and promotion by reaching out to transregional and international best practices. 

The project ReHERIT will run from late July 2018 until late July 2020 and consist of several overlapping blocks of activities: 
  1. two sets of sociological research in Lviv and Uman: at the beginning of the project to provide representative data for developing planned actions and the second at the end of the project to assess impact of the project and to outline recommendations for any future interventions. 
  2. Lviv: an infrastructural project of managing and marking the territory of the Great Synagogue and its activation by developing new approaches and models of work on shared heritage for teachers and guides; 
  3. Uman: developing and piloting soft elements (mapping historical sites, developing tools and practices of working on heritage), training for guides, teachers and other heritage actors, designing the strategy of tourism development and the concept of heritage marking; 
  4. conducting trainings on the effective management of heritage in Lviv and Uman for LAs and CSOs from various towns of Ukraine; 
  5. sub-granting with mini-grants for 10 towns in 10 oblasts, which will enable participants to apply their knowledge and competencies for deploying the best heritage practices in their communities.

The activities of the ReHERIT combine infrastructural and soft parts to advance and build on the long-term experience and challenges of working with heritage in Lviv and Uman. Research based and best practice informed development and promotion of new approaches and models will promote and enable efficient and sensitive heritage management. Applying tools and formats for stakeholders’ engagement and residents’ involvement will increase LAs’ capacities in governance leading to sustainable growth and CSOs in recognizing their roles and responsibilities in this process as actors, partners and stakeholders. Developing, introducing and sharing models for efficient management will help in establishing productive cooperation among different stakeholders (CSOs, authorities, business). 

Project results will be posted on the portal of cultural heritage and available for any interested party.

The project will also include the creating of an online resource of information and materials for cultural heritage experts – the portal of cultural heritage (Heritage Hub).

Evaluating the results of the project will be held in July 2020 at the Heritage Horizons Forum where partners, project participants and representatives of cultural industries will participate.
ReHERIT is jointly implemented by the Lviv City Council's Heritage Preservation Office, the Center for Urban History, the Urban Space Lab and the Uman City Council’s Department of Culture.

The project is funded by the European Union.