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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PERICLES (PrEseRvIng and sustainably governing Cultural heritage and Landscapes in European coastal and maritime regionS)


European coastal and maritime regions are at the crossroads of connections and movement of diverse peoples and cultures. These coastal zones are also historically rich with unique land/seascapes, tangible artefacts, and intangible heritage. This cultural heritage (CH) provides...


European coastal and maritime regions are at the crossroads of connections and movement of diverse peoples and cultures. These coastal zones are also historically rich with unique land/seascapes, tangible artefacts, and intangible heritage. This cultural heritage (CH) provides a sense of place, unity, and belonging, strengthening society. Rooted in specific landscapes, seascapes, buildings, stories, traditions, language, and cultural knowledge and practices, CH is a fundamental part of every society. It connects people to each other and to the past and helps guide the future. The loss of CH can weaken people’s societal attachments to place and to one another, thereby increasing strife and a sense of anomie and decreasing cooperation and sense of identity. Protection and advocacy for CH can strengthen identity and local community, thereby improving overall quality of life.

Utilisation of CH can also be a springboard for economic development of society. Indeed, CH is now widely appreciated as an essential part of Europe’s underlying socioeconomic, cultural and natural capital and seen as a large industry in its own right. Thus, realising the potential of CH could generate prosperity, bring new jobs and improve environments. Yet, coastal and maritime cultural heritage (CMCH) and landscapes face numerous risks from climate change, pollution, urbanisation, mass tourism, demographic challenges in remote regions, the fundamental transformation of the European fishing industry, and inconsistent policies of sea and shore conservation across governance scales and between regions.

With calls for Blue Growth (coastal, marine, and maritime related sectors) ringing throughout Europe, it is important to make an explicit connection between the value of CH, the risks it faces and the benefits to developing a framework for its preservation and utilisation to safeguard its enjoyment for future generations.

With this is mind, the ultimate objective of PERICLES is to promote good governance and the sustainable utilisation of cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions through the development of a multi-actor, participatory framework. To meet this objective, the project has
-developed an in-depth, situated understanding of the CH of marine and coastal land/seascapes focusing on communities of meaning and communities of practice;
-developing practical tools, based on stakeholder involvement for mapping, assessing and mitigating risks to CH and to enhance sustainable growth and increase employment by harnessing CH assets;
-providing policy advice to improve integration of CH in key marine and environmental policies; and
-developing effective knowledge exchange networks.

Work performed

Activities in Year 1 focused on work around 4 objectives enabling the partners to move closer towards achieving PERICLES’ project overall objective of developing a framework for preservation and sustainable utilisation of CMCH.

These included:

Develop an in-depth, situated understanding of CMCH, providing for a comprehensive picture of the societal importance of tangible and intangible CH of marine and coastal land/seascapes. The first year was designed with this goal in mind with four different literature reviews conducted on CH: a global review and reviews on Space, Place and Identity; Risk; Resilience, and Adaptation, and Participatory and Deliberative Governance. Analyses from these reviews led to the writing of a journal article manuscript “Conceptualizing Coastal and Maritime Cultural Heritage through Communities of Meaning and Participation” as well as the development of a model for operationalising the literature review work into our case studies. Our understandings and comprehensive picture will continue to be refined as we build upon and adjust the Framework through future case region work.

Develop practical tools, based on stakeholder involvement and participatory governance, for (a) understanding, assessing and mitigating risks to CH and (b) enhancing sustainable growth and increasing employment by harnessing CH assets. We began exploring research methods and developing tools for aiding our work on CMCH. Templates for 23 methods and tools were developed. Spatial data on marine CH was compiled to feed into a mapping portal, where it will be combined with crowd-sourced data gathered by the project. A Visual Participatory Appraisal tool was presented to partners and stakeholders at the 1st Annual Meeting.

Provide a comprehensive, participatory framework for sustainable management, conservation and exploitation of European coastal and maritime cultural landscapes, which integrates knowledge across local, spatial, environmental, social and economic aspects of CH. Our initial work on the management and exploitation of CH began with looking maritime cultural heritage at risk, with a review of commonly applied risk management strategies which will inform the participatory framework.

Provide policy advice to improve integration of CH in key marine and environmental policies and the implementation of associated EU directives such as on Marine Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management. In this year, first steps were also taken towards policy recommendations through identifying good practices of policy integration of CH and maritime policies (year 1)).

Develop effective knowledge exchange networks among policy makers, stakeholders and scholars to help achieve, communicate and disseminate our goals, creating coherent and continuous dissemination and impact. One of the most important aspects of PERICLES’ work on CMCH is our working with, and co-creation activities with, local stakeholders and managers. We have held workshops to name and list intangible CH (France), school activities and art competitions on MCH with children (Greece), entrepreneur training for CH practitioners (Aveiro), and numerous other activities. Additionally, we held our first international stakeholder workshop on management of CH which brought together regional and European stakeholders from throughout the continent to share their knowledge and experiences and we have connected with other CH projects and practitioners. Through these activities and connections, as well as our social media and on-line discussion platform, we are working to bring stakeholders together.

Final results

Thus far, PERICLES has taken steps to move beyond the state of the art in science and policy by pursuing its key aim of supporting sustainable management of CH by developing a novel participatory framework for CH assessment, conservation and exploitation which, crucially, integrates social science, humanities and environmental research, and environmental and cultural policies. Our ambition addresses key gaps in research, policy and practice, including the integration of participatory approaches to CH conservation and the development of appropriate tools and techniques; our tools will both inform and guide stakeholders and also can be accessed by the broader public.

We also expect the inclusion of CH in marine and coastal management policies and regulations to help protect CH as well as improved the environmental and cultural environments in the face of environmental, social and economic change.

Finally, we bring attention to the topic of CMCH and are supporting local level and grass roots initiative to utilize and preserve CH, educating the general populace as well as the next generation.

Website & more info

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