OpenHeritage releases its second policy brief: Collaborative heritage reuse

In its second policy brief, OpenHeritage presents recommendations for policy makers, heritage officers, and planners at national and sub-national levels of government, as well as other initiators of adaptive heritage reuse projects. These recommendations aim to support the implementation of adaptive heritage reuse projects in Europe.

“Adaptive heritage reuse is a complex undertaking and involves various stakeholders. The variety of actors involved presents a challenge as well as an opportunity. NGOs, local communities, public bodies, private investors, heritage professionals and others all have different interests and priorities and it is not easy to reach consensus. At the same time, coming together to form effective and efficient partnerships for adaptive heritage reuse can yield many benefits and create sustainable and vital cultural spaces within our cities and for our communities. We hope to inspire actors to embrace collaborations across fields by providing examples of different partnership models as well as clear and applicable recommendations for their implementation.”

The OpenHeritage project

The OpenHeritage Project is developing inclusive cooperation, governance and management models for overlooked heritage sites by working with six Living Labs while analysing case studies of good practices in adaptive heritage from across Europe (Observatory Cases). Working together with residents, local businesses, higher education organisations and municipalities, OpenHeritage explores diverse
partnership arrangements, community engagement methods and finance mechanisms to help develop and sustain community engagement with heritage sites.

A central concept of OpenHeritage is the idea of “openness”: open when looking at what constitutes heritage or open when deciding who should be involved in heritage processes. An inclusive — open — approach to heritage projects is a benefit to the projects themselves, as well as the individual partners working on them.

Download and read the second policy brief here.

Example of what Open Heritage does

The Sunderland High Street West CHL activities are part of a bigger project. This bigger project aims to get three buildings on the edge of Sunderland city centre back into long term sustainable socio-cultural use. This use should be beneficial to the neighbours and the wider local community.

The buildings were originally built as houses in the 1790’s, and their ground floors converted to retail/office very early on. At the moment they are worthless in terms of money and the rent they could produce is unlikely to provide the financial return to make restoring the buildings commercially viable. Check video to see what happened next.

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