SoPHIA – Social Platform for Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment (2020-2021)
February 2020 – Seven European partners join forces with the European Union to propose a holistic impact assessment model for historical, environmental and cultural heritage sites in Europe. With the term holistic it understands that the economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions necessary to any intervention on heritage must be addressed comprehensively. For this purpose, the social platform will bring together research communities, practitioners, public and private stakeholders as well as policy makers at local, national and international levels.
The way cultural heritage is preserved and enhanced is a major factor defining Europe´s identity and its place in the world. In this sense, high quality interventions in cultural heritage contribute to local communities´ well-being and to the development of sustainable cultural tourism. On the other hand, low-quality interventions in cultural heritage sites may not only damage irreplaceable historical elements, their environment and related intangible heritage but also foster negative perceptions by society.
Against this background, SoPHIA will:
• Review the research literature, policy programmes and practices to provide an essay mapping existing gaps, issues and problems.
• Analyse and map best practices related to both impact assessment and quality of interventions taking into account the economic, social, environmental and cultural domains.
• Design and test an impact assessment model in several European heritage sites of different nature to adjust it to ensure the highest level of performance or effectiveness.
• Produce a toolkit for practitioners and other stakeholders, including recommendations for impact assessment and related quality standards.
• Formulate recommendations and produce guidelines as a basis for an EU action plan regarding 1) operational programmes related to interventions on cultural heritage, innovation and focused research and 2) public policies on quality interventions in cultural heritage in Europe.
• Engage the related heritage community throughout the project and beyond, as well as the general public.
The SoPHIA kick-off meeting took place on January 30 and 31, 2020 at the headquarters of the lead partner, Università degli Studi Roma 3.
SoPHIA is funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, and is implemented, over 2020 and 2021, by Universitá degli Studi Roma 3 – UNIROMA3 (Lead partner), in collaboration with Interarts, Stichting European Museum Academy – EMA, Denken und Handeln in Kultur und Bildung – EDUCULT, National Technical University of Athens – NTUA, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology – IADT, and the Institute for Development and International Relations – IRMO.