19 April 2021
Cultural heritage is a focus of pride and identity for citizens as well as an important driver of tourism. The Interreg Europe project SHARE, which concluded its 4 years of work in December 2020, studied sustainable ways to improve the protection, promotion, accessibility and development of urban cultural heritage sites across Europe. The project brought together partners from Spain, Romania, Sweden, UK, Hungary and Croatia, with Sviluppumbria (Italy) as lead partner. Sviluppumbria is the Development Agency of Umbria region, member of the Assembly of European Regions (AER).
With guidance from its Advisory Partner, the University of Greenwich, the project carried out research activities including case studies, benchmarking and SWOT analyses on regional policies. Most importantly, the partners conducted field surveys to gather evidence of behaviour and attitudes relative to visits to city centres. Survey-takers interviewed three categories of people in city centres – residents, tourists and those running small businesses – each with a set of questions specific to the category. More than 6,000 questionnaires were completed, gathering a wealth of data which were analysed by the Greenwich team. In most partner territories, this survey was the first of its kind in decades, or ever, providing useful evidence to guide policy makers.
Other project activities included presentations of SHARE’s findings and good practices at the EU Week of Regions and Cities three years running (2018, 2019 and 2020, the last in cooperation with two other Interreg Europe projects) and at the Lucca Cultural Heritage conference (2019), and a discussion of case studies from the project at a seminar “Sustainable Management of Heritage Tourism Destinations” for students and interested public at University of Greenwich (2018).
SHARE also tested three novel types of events: a joint public presentation with the Green Pilgrimage project (2018), a walk-meeting with stakeholders (2018) and a meeting with citizen-stakeholders giving feedback to the Region’s policy makers (2020).
The overall lesson from SHARE can be summarised as the keys to keeping cultural heritage sustainable, resilient and accessible are education, communication and collaboration, involving four stakeholder groups: residents, tourists, businesses and heritage management professionals.
Link (if available):
SHARE website www.interregeurope.eu/share
View the 2020 EU Week presentation of good practices from SHARE, Innocastle and FINCH projects https://www.interregeurope.eu/share/news/news-article/10133/resilient-heritage-cohesive-society/
For more information of SHARE or if you wish to collaborate with Sviluppumbria, please contact Chiara Dall’Aglio – Coordinator for Tourism, Promotion and EU projects (firstname.lastname@example.org)