19 May 2010

HerO – Heritage as Opportunity

The rapidly changing conditions of modern times pose a big challenge on the management of historic towns in Europe. The imbalance of progress and the preservation of the historic urban fabric often results in either economic stagnancy or the loss of cultural heritage values and with it the loss of identity.  

In this context, the network HerO aims to develop integrated and innovative management strategies for historic urban landscapes.  Their main objective is facilitating the right balance between the preservation of built cultural heritage and the sustainable, future-proof socio-economic development of historic towns in order to strengthen their attractiveness and competitiveness. Emphasis will be placed on managing conflicting usage interests and capitalizing the potential of cultural heritage assets for economic, social and cultural activities (Heritage as Opportunity).

In order to give input for the next EU fundraising period, the HerO partner cities Graz, Naples, Vilius, Sighisoara, Liverpool, Lublin, Poitiers, Valletta and Regensburgh have conjointly submitted the Strategy Paper “The Untapped Potential of Cultural Heritage, A Catalyst for Sustainable Urban Development and an Internationally Competitive Europe” to the EU Commission. The paper has been elaborated in close cooperation with the European Association of Historic Towns & Regions.

The Strategy Paper makes the case for a strong urban dimension as part of EU Cohesion Policy with a special focus on cultural heritage and historic urban landscapes. It calls for support for and investment in integrated and sustainable urban development to ensure Europe’s historic towns and cities are attractive places to live, work and invest in, fully able to respond to the global challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

For more information, please visit the HerO Network Website.