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Project design

HERILAND integrates methods and approaches from many disciplines and sectors relevant to heritage planning into a single design for research and training. We have established 5 work strands, or work packages (WPs), each of which reflects one of the transformational processes, that HERILAND has identified as being central to societal challenges key to future heritage practice. Each WP includes three PhD projects:

The Spatial Turn (WP1. UNEW leads)

Spatial thinking has pervaded all sectors of society, from science to business, and also heritage management; heritage is now commonly approached through the lens of landscapes, perceived as spatial and temporal palimpsests of memories and meanings, socially constituted and continuously redefined and co-designed. In the planning of these landscapes for the future, those palimpsests are often considered building blocks and sources of inspiration, with which to guarantee place making, community cohesion and economic exploitation, all vital elements in several UN Development Goals.  However, spatially-based concepts, visions and regulations on the relationship between people and their living environment, heritage and space, still differ largely between academic disciplines, sectors or states; to serve a future generation of heritage planners, HERILAND will devote to these issues thorough reflection, from theoretical as well as methodological and operational points of view. Attention is focused on the socio-political, economic and governance dimensions in perceiving and shaping the living environment and the roles attributed to heritage (tangible and intangible), with transnational, cross-cultural comparative research of heritage discourses, ethics, governance and practices.

PhD projects:

1. Heritage-as-landscape and its socio-political drivers. Host: VUA (NL) (CLOSED)

2. Heritage in economic growth and social renewal. Host: UGOT (SE) (CLOSED)

3. Making trans-sectoral connections in governance, regulation and legislative frameworks. Host: UNEW (UK) (CLOSED)

Democratisation (WP2. TUD leads)

Although heritage is often perceived as a domain of experts, it is in reality, like landscape, key to the daily lives of all citizens. Increasingly, as in nearly all sectors of society, citizens demand a voice in the definition and management of heritage, and in the development of planning alternatives and design solutions. Here again, heritage planning meets a UN sustainable development goal, that of inclusive and equal social justice. Government agencies, heritage professionals and spatial planners are already beginning to open up to the public, aiming to increase inclusiveness, and heritage tourism and recreation is accessible to larger sections of society than ever. However, there is very little research and much uncertainty about the constraints and potentially negative effects and risks of this openness/inclusiveness. There is also much debate, but little research, on current concepts, tools and procedures for democratization in the access to and definition, appropriation, management and planning of heritage. HERILAND aims to tackle this. The WP trains ESR’s to identify how approaches have evolved, to critically examine them and to test and innovate best practice models, procedures and tools.

PhD projects:

4. Innovative governance systems for future heritage planning. Host: VUA (NL) (CLOSED)

5. Inclusive heritage management processes. Host: TUD (NL) (CLOSED)

6. Urban heritage and mass tourism. Host: ROMA3 (IT) (CLOSED)

Digital Transformations (WP3. VUA leads)

The global success of the digital ‘Connected World’ is accompanied by all-encompassing societal changes, from new forms of communication, collaboration and information exchange to new business and governance models and control mechanisms. Its impact on access to, perceptions of and meanings and values attributed to heritage, is potentially far reaching. Heritage planning may greatly profit from it, but the potentials and risks of the Digital Turn are still poorly studied. Digital methods and tools may greatly facilitate communication and information exchange between all stakeholders involved in spatial transformation processes and they may contribute to public participation in decision making, but they can also be manipulated by particular communities and can lead to a greater divide between state and citizens and, eventually, to increased state control. Developing and testing digital applications like perspective mapping, digital biographies, collaborative design work spaces and serious gaming, this WP sets out a training model that enables heritage planners to develop the opportunities of the Connected World in a sustainable way.

PhD projects:

7. Citizen Science and big data for collaborative, heritage- based planning of city development. Host: UNEW (UK) (CLOSED)

8. Gamification methods for collaborative heritage planning. Host: VUA (NL) (CLOSED)

9. Datascape methods for heritage planning professionals. Host: BEZAL (IL) (CLOSED)

Shifting demographies and contested identities (WP4. BEZAL leads)

People are on the move in almost all parts of the world on a possibly unprecedented scale, whether in refugee crises or through long-term urbanization processes. The social, cultural and economic transformations that go with such migrations are no less far reaching than the spatial ones. Think of the emergence of urban multicultural melting pots or, on the other hand, of rural depression (and in some places, of post-industrial urban abandonment). The making or preservation of heritage is intimately linked to these transformations, as it is about creating, safeguarding or contesting identities and communities, whether urban or rural. Hence, it has become common practice in spatial planning to use heritage as a tool to reach development goals such as social cohesion and economic sustainability. But how to do this successfully, and how to identify potential risks and dangers, still needs proper investigation. This WP will study best practices and success factors, to develop and test procedures and tools that can challenge European key social-demographic issues like gentrification, multi-culturalism, and population decline and growth.

PhD projects:

10. Adaptation of urban heritage in multicultural society. Host: BEZAL (IL) (CLOSED)

11. Urban regeneration and cultural identity. Host: ROMA3 (IT) (CLOSED)

12. ESR12 = Heritage zoning and population dynamics. Host: TUD (NL) (CLOSED)

Changing environments (WP5. UGOT leads)

UNESCO identifies changes to environments, whether due to natural or cultural agents, as one of the major challenges for the future that block the road towards sustainable development. They will also of course affect heritage in every respect. Landscapes will undergo thorough transformations with increasing urbanization and de-industrialization, impacting urban and rural geographies alike, from historic city centres to industrial plants and agricultural and pastoral land use patterns. Climate change, in particular global warming, will have pervasive consequences for traditional water management and energy supply systems, calling for adjustments of sea defences and dikes and for the development of alternative, sustainable energy sources. Adaptation to these changes through spatial planning is vital, but the opportunities for and challenges to heritage design are still poorly investigated. In this WP attention is focused on the role of heritage in climate change adaptation, in particular with regard to water management, urban-rural interactions and the future of post-industrial landscapes.

PhD projects:

13. Heritage development in large scale infrastructural project – a collaborative and trans-disciplinary approach. Host: UGOT (SE) (CLOSED)

14. Disappearing landscapes of Carpathians – towards a participatory model of conservation of cultural landscape. Host: VUA (NL) (CLOSED)

15. Heritage as lever of economic growth and social renewal in post-industrial landscapes. Host: UNEW (UK) (CLOSED)