SoPHIA, or Social Platform for Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment, hosts a Virtual Stakeholders Conference on 21 and 22 April to discuss the model developed as part of the project and the associated concepts.
SoPHIA is a Horizon 2020 European initiative in charge of reviewing existing policy and creating a new model for heritage impact assessment based on people, domains and time.
During the first day, the conference will share stakeholders’ experience on the “hot” heritage topics of environmental sustainability in heritage management, heritage education role and impact, engagement of the public, the place of dark heritage in Europe and dealing with over-tourism (hot-stuff indeed). On the second day, the focus shifts to SoPHIA’s work and framing the overall heritage picture. Moreover, there will be virtual museums tours and the opportunity to join the Virtual Networking Lounge!
Check the program out here and register! CU there?
Unpacking Social Platform for Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment
Heritage Impact Assessment assesses the situation around heritage and determines interventions.
Holistic, SoPHIA examines the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact on cultural heritage analysing each theme, identifying challenges and opportunities. The analysis in practice takes a look into the policy, best practices, case studies, assessment and quality of interventions. This research results in indicators from all themes that can help outline a holistic model for impact assessment. While SoPHIA’s focus is on European cultural heritage, the project also examines international projects having a probable worldwide application.
The model will work around people, domains and time and be put to the test through case studies allowing for an accurate and unified model including recommendations for policy-makers and cultural professionals.
Their objectives are:
- “To make an extensive review of the impact assessments, research, policies and best practices related to interventions undertaken in European historical environment and cultural heritage.
- To identify gaps and main issues related to the impact assessment of interventions on cultural heritage.
- To propose shared quality standards to be required for restoration and other interventions in European historical environment and cultural heritage.
- To develop a model for holistic impact assessment of interventions on cultural heritage disaggregated in 4 main interconnected domains, social, cultural, economic and environmental, and test it on comparable observation units with similar characteristics albeit in different contexts.
- To develop a shared view within the social platform on the more important and policy relevant issues in this field for Europe in the coming years and the best way to address them.
- To produce toolkits, recommendations, an action plan and policy guidelines in this domain to support the EU’s future action in this field.”
or in a nutshell:
THEMES -> INDICATORS -> INTERVENTION
Access The sophia model platform – Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment
————–Update 22 April, 2021
The conference came to an end today, with lots of ideas and inspiration! The projects presented by stakeholders were insightful and the World Café stations highly interactive, giving a sense of collaboration and dialogue between professionals rather than a static conference.
The digital format was effective in networking and brainstorming with active discussions in the chat on day 1 and audience participation on day 2. As expected, there were the typical zoom/streaming issues, but their swift handling did not hinder the experience in any way. Keeping up with SoPHIA’s approach of inclusivity and communication.
While the conference will not be available to stream, SoPHIA compiled together the proceedings you can access here. Below are our key takeaways from the sessions we participated in:
Heritage impact should alternate from economic indicators to social and psychological values, specifically societal behavioural development, minorities inclusion, well-being and quality of life. Moreover, research on the social impact of cultural heritage education should expand. Besides, enhance quality control of services and development of skills necessary for museum workers at all levels.
On the one hand, COVID-19 challenged the sector with financial surge and limiting access to heritage, especially by disadvantaged communities. On the other hand, cultural heritage used the pandemic to experiment with technological innovation and pilot the digital and AI fields. Furthermore, museums and heritage sites intensified their communications and social media presence, however, they should re-examine their strategies and initiate conversation rather than solely sharing information. Additionally, COVID-19 benefited heritage sites by expansion of local tourism and providing relief from overcrowding. Cultural heritage sites often struggle with over-tourism negatively impacting their management, view and conservation. The discussion featured threats, contributing factors and mitigation as:
- Identify the percentage of locals who work in the tourist industry.
- Accommodation prices and availability play a significant role in the level of tourism. Possible Solution: development of regulations.
- Conservation efforts should care for all heritage values and not prioritised according to touristic and economic development as highlighting aesthetic values over local.
These are only a few of the ideas and topics the conference presented simultaneously with beautiful projects from all over Europe that are too many to mention in this segment. Make sure to check SoPHIA’s output and each of the stakeholders’ work!
————–Update 10 December, 2021
SoPHIA Final Conference
Similar to April’s event the final Sophia conference is a hybrid event taking place December 16-17. The event will present the SoPHIA model “for the evaluation of interventions in cultural heritage and its concrete applicability” and “recommendations for cultural heritage policies and operational programmes”. During the event exchanges with cultural heritage, experts are in place.
December 16, from 16:30 to 19:00 (CET), and December 17, from 9:00 to 15:30 (CET)
Registration is open and as with the last event is free (Register here)
————–Update 17 December, 2021
The sophia model platform is live
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Let us know if you’d like an overview of SoPHIA!