PERICLES is an EU-funded research and innovation project running from 2018-2021. PERICLES promotes sustainable, participatory governance of cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions through a unique interdisciplinary and geographically wide-ranging approach. The overall aim of the project is to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive framework to understand, preserve and utilize maritime cultural heritage for societal good.
Cultural heritage provides a sense of place, unity, and belonging. Rooted in specific landscapes, seascapes, buildings, stories, traditions, language, and cultural practices, cultural heritage is a fundamental part of every society. It connects people to each other and to the past and helps guide the future.
Protection and advocacy for cultural heritage can strengthen identity and local society, thereby improving overall quality of life. Culture and heritage are essential in maintaining and building Europe’s economic, social, cultural and natural capital. Realising the potential of cultural heritage in these terms can generate prosperity, bring new jobs, enhance communities and improve environments in ways comparable to Blue Growth initiatives.
Yet, coastal cultural landscapes face risks from climate change, pollution, urbanisation, mass tourism, demographic challenges in remote regions, the fundamental transformation of the European fishing industry, neglect, and inconsistent policies of sea and shore conservation across governance scales and between regions.
The below figure shows the location of our case regions.
Great challenges are faced in the on-going effort to sustainably govern cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions. In order to meet these challenges, PERICLES will:
- develop an in-depth, situated understanding of the cultural heritage of marine and coastal land/seascapes, including knowledge across local, spatial, environmental, social and economic aspects;
- develop practical tools, based on stakeholder involvement and participatory governance, for mapping, assessing and mitigating risks to cultural heritage and to enhance sustainable growth and increase employment by harnessing cultural heritage assets;
- provide policy advice to improve integration of cultural heritage in key marine and environmental policies and the implementation of associated EU directives; and
- develop effective knowledge exchange networks.
Key for the success of the project will be our application of a range of participatory, deliberative and action research methods from the social sciences and arts directly involving decision-makers, stakeholders and the public. Innovative aspects include an interactive, on-line, cultural heritage mapping portal, cross-cultural heritage stakeholder networks, and focus on providing evidence on how to link European coastal and maritime environmental policies with cultural ones.
The below figure shows the workplan set out for PERICLES