Debate on the outcome of the SHUC project
Major challenges face the management of the historic urban cores of European towns, a major European cultural asset. Although countries use different management approaches they face similar pressures arising from the effects of the banking crisis and increasingly neoliberal government policies which tend to impose public spending constraints together with privatisation and deregulation. Pasts studies have pointed to the weakness of strategic approaches to coordinate the actions of a wider set of public, private and civil society actors in urban heritage management. There is a demand for a better understanding of the trajectory and impacts of planning and management approaches.
Planning and management of historic cores vary significantly because of countries’ different institutional conditions and social models. For example, in the Netherlands the state has traditionally been the primary actor with municipalities acting directly in managing the built heritage, whereas in England the state largely regulates the private market and NGOs play a more important role. These different approaches have consequences for changes of use of property and space in the historic core.
This project has established a collaborative network of researchers with a common interest in strengthening practices in urban planning and management of historic cities. It brings together research on planning practices for the historic urban core from three countries to apply a common theoretical framework. It offers comparative understandings of evolving practices and their consequences. This project is funded within the transnational pilot call launched under the umbrella of the European Joint Programming Initiative for Research on Cultural Heritage.