PERICLES Three Pillars

The PERICLES view of preserving and utilizing maritime and coastal cultural heritage is built upon three pillars of scientific concepts:

1. Space, Place, and Identity;
2. Risk, Resilience, and Adaption; and
3. Deliberative and Participatory Governance. 


PERICLES explores the different ways that spaces become places and influence identities.  We also focus on tangible cultural heritage, which has value both for what it is and for what it alludes to; by being visible, it draws attention to the intangible in terms of the cultures, societies and circumstances that shaped landscape use and exploitation. Both tangible and intangible cultural heritage are important for creating a sense of individual and societal identity.


Coastal areas experience intense and sustained pressures from a diverse range of social and environmental sources, all of which have the potential to become risks to the preservation and utilisation of cultural heritage. Our coasts host many of the EU’s major centres of commerce and are subject to the attendant pressures that emanate from these cities (e.g. urban sprawl and rapid development).

Due to globalisation and resulting MacDonaldisation of cities, many urban centres are at risk of losing their inherent uniqueness as waterfronts and high streets are increasingly designed to resemble each other and are disembedded from their coastal heritage.

Risk, resilience and adaptation challenges vary according to specific threats and contexts and therefore require different solutions. This is explored in PERICLES in demos that include, for example, adaption in the face of climate change challenges (Malta and Wadden Sea), the challenges associated with growing demands onmaritime and coastal resources though Blue Growth (Scotland and Denmark) and challenges to traditional ways of life (Estonia, Malta, Aegean).


Participation is essential in governing both cultural heritage and landscapes to guarantee the integration of diverse knowledge, values and perspectives, ensure recognition of all salient risks, avoid or reduce conflict and find synergies between different interests, and broadly improve the quality of decisions. Governance is about the rules of collective decision-making. Governance and developments in participation can be linked to the notion of ‘deliberative democracy’ and empowered participatory governance.  PERICLES will provide a comprehensive, empowered participatory governance framework for sustainable management and conservation of European coastal and maritime cultural landscapes, to assess and mitigate risks and integrate knowledge across local, spatial, environmental, social and economic aspects of CH

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