International Conference. Citizens Involved: Participatory Governance of Built Heritage

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Date(s) - 03/10/2018 - 04/10/2018

Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

This conference will offer an international exchange of best practices of participatory governance of cultural heritage. It will present real-life projects by speakers with first-hand experiences and coming from different backgrounds.

The focus is mainly on built heritage, taking into account successful examples of participation in archaeology and the larger areas of historic built environment and cultural landscapes. The aim of the conference is to highlight the advantages (but also disadvantages) of participatory governance, to exchange experiences and to offer advice – including do’s and don’ts – for the management of future participative heritage initiatives.

For whom?
The intended participants of the conference are those who are involved in (future) built heritage projects based on participatory governance: policy makers, local, regional and national public authorities, owners and managers of built heritage, heritage professionals, heritage researchers, planners and architects. The conference will be held in English. Participants are invited to actively participate in workshops. Poster presentations are welcome. A book corner will be installed where speakers and participants can present relevant publications.

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands is organising this conference in the context of the European Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPICH). The JPICH is one of the ten ongoing Joint Programming Initiatives seeking to increase the value of relevant national and EU Research and Development investments by joint planning, implementation and evaluation of national research programmes.

The JPICH is directed at promoting the safeguarding of cultural heritage in its broader meaning, including tangible, intangible and digital assets. It promotes a joint multidisciplinary approach to cultural heritage sustainability which arises from research. This conference is one of its flagship events in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Recently in cultural heritage we have seen a shift from government towards governance, implying an active involvement of relevant stakeholders. We also see a shift from governance and participation towards participatory governance. Private actors, civil society organisations, NGOs, the voluntary sector and interested citizens are to be involved in the whole process of decision making, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of cultural heritage policies and programmes.

In a European context the focus is on participatory governance. In 2014 the Council of the European Union promoted the participatory approach in its Conclusions on participatory governance in cultural heritage. A year later, a Mapping of practices in the EU Member States on Participatory governance of cultural heritage was published by the European Expert Network on Culture. This was in support of the Open Method of Coordination Working Group of the same name, whose report was published in April 2018. The conference also aligns with the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (FARO Convention). Based on these insights and on the research done in the context of the JPICH, the conference will deal with several questions related to this important issue:

What are the real advantages of participatory governance?
Are bottom-up initiatives more effective than top-down processes, and under which conditions? Or should they be complementary?
Does participatory governance increase the accountability, transparency and impact of public resource investments?
What are valuable working methods with sustainable results? What are the benefits, and what are the challenges?

New insights in cultural heritage governance strategies will be presented, including the results of recent research projects. The programme of the conference will include plenary sessions, workshops and a visit to a former industrial area which was successfully redeveloped and transformed into an innovative, creative and sustainable ‘micro city’.

Registration (before 17th of September 2018) & More information