Governing local heritage together
This session focused on participatory governance approaches to cultural heritage. Such approaches involve the public sector, private stakeholders, civil society and citizens in co-designing policies and programmes, in shared management of those policies and programmes, in enhancing the value of cultural heritage among communities, and in using heritage as a resource for innovation and local and regional development.
Local and regional policy trends in fostering participatory governance in cultural heritage:
Key issues faced by cities and regions include:
Sustainable management of cultural heritage and activating places; making sure that the place is meaningful, accessible and user-friendly; solving wicked social issues; job creation (including through local craftsmanship and tourism) and nurturing lively local cultural ecosystems; empowering citizens and local partnerships; and fostering engagement.
What are cities and regions telling us?
- Cultural heritage is a resource for future local and regional development; it ranks high in the strategic priorities of cities. New working methods are developing for local authorities to join forces with local stakeholders. New local networks of stakeholders are also developing, with local players joining forces.
- Cultural heritage is a powerful tool to foster social inclusion and acts as a rallying point for different social groups.
- Adaptive re-use of heritage buildings is not only for cultural new uses.
- Built heritage areas are being brought back to citizens through new open public spaces.
- Measuring the various impacts of investing in cultural heritage remains challenging.
Two examples were presented:
- Commonlands: Cultural community mapping in the Alpine area (Italy)
- 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin's social history museum
Take away message
- Investing in cultural heritage is strategic for cities and regions; it supports greater social cohesion and public participation.
- Cultural heritage creates shared spaces to deal with many other issues at local and regional levels. These shared spaces must be made accessible through participatory processes.
- See specific examples of participatory governance in cultural heritage in the new Cultural Heritage in Action catalogue: https://bit.ly/36mepyT.
Cultural heritage is a resource for future local and regional development; it ranks high in the strategic priorities of cities. New working methods are developing for local authorities to join forces with local stakeholders. New local networks of stakeholders are also developing, with local players joining forces.