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About us….

Heritage EuropeHeritage Europe was formed asThe European Association of Historic Towns and Regions”  by the Council of Europe in October 1999 as part of the initiative “Europe – A Common Heritage”.

We aim to promote the interests of Europe’s historic cities through international cooperation between heritage organisations and historic towns - sharing experience and good practice and promoting the sustainable management of historic areas.

We have members in 30 European countries and through our membership arrangements represent over 1000 historic towns and cities.

Read More…


EU Council Conclusions on Cultural Heritage adopted

For the first time ever, the Council of the European Union has adopted Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe.

Under the leadership of the Hellenic Presidency of the European Union, the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council adopted these historic conclusions at its meeting on 21 May in Brussels. The conclusions call for more resources to be invested in cultural heritage and for the mainstreaming of cultural heritage in national and European policies. Member States are invited to consider including cultural heritage in the framework of the next Council Work Plan for Culture which will be implemented from 2015 onwards. 

Photos: © Council of the European Union

Here are the texts of the conclusions and the European Commission's full communication "Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe"

HORIZON 2020 - EU Commission Expert Group on "Cultural Heritage Research and Innovation".

The group has been meeting regularly over the course of 2014, the final 2 meetings having taken place in Brussels in late November and mid December. The group will report at the end of 2014 on their findings and recommendations for a new agenda for research and innovation on Cultural Heritage.

The Final Report will be available in the new year.


City of Dubrovnik to bid for European Capital of Culture.

Dubrovnik City Council has recently adopted a Decision approving the candidature of the City of Dubrovnik for the  European Capital of Culture 2020 or ECOC title during a session held on November 30, 2014.



Workshop “Sustainable Management Solutions / Sustainable Transport Solutions” - Dubrovnik 11-12 September 2014


The 2 day workshop, hosted by the city of Dubrovnik and co-organised by the Croatian Association of Historic Towns and Heritage Europe with the support of partners “Adriatic IPA”, project “Ex. PO AUS” and projects ENCLOSE and LIFE+ PERHT, was held in the World Heritage City of Dubrovnik 11-12 September 2014. The workshops began with a press conference hosted and chaired by the Mayor of Dubrovnik Dr Andro Vlahusic with introductions from the speakers’ panel - Brian Smith Secretary General Heritage Europe, Giorgio Ambrosino project leader ENCLOSE, Jean-Michel Galley ANVPAH French National Association of Historic Towns, Christian Andexer Architect World Heritage

City of Graz, Austria.

Download the presentations


HISTCAPE - Final Conference

The HISTCAPE project’s final Open Conference took place at the Podsreda Castle, Slovenia on 16th September 2014 hosted by project partner the University of Ljubljana.

This international open event served as a conclusion to the project, but the HISTCAPE project does not finish here, it goes further. The title of the conference “The Legacy of the HISTCAPE Project” gives an indication of the commitment to build on the project and its findings in disseminating and sharing the good practice identified over the course of the project life.

Download the Final report and Good practice guide 

For information on the conference and summary of the project results visit: www.histcape.eu


Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe (CHCFE)

The project Steering Committee held its 4th meeting in Krakow, Poland on the 16 - 17 October hosted by project partner the International Cultural Centre (ICC) to discuss the next phase of the project’s development – the collection and analysis of existing research on the impacts of cultural heritage.

12 representatives of the six project partners were in attendance. The purpose of this meeting was to have progress reports from the two teams responsible for mapping and analysing the multiple benefits of Europe’s cultural heritage and to discuss the project’s draft report and recommendations.


Click here for the presentations from partners "The International Cultural Centre (ICC)" from Poland and the "Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation (RLICC)" in Belgium.

The 5th and final partner meeting took place in Leuven, Belgium on the 2nd February 2015 at the Raymond Lemaire Institute to coincide with the RLICC Thematic Week 2015 "Heritage Counts".

The project Final Conference will be held in Oslo, Norway at the world famous Oslo City Hall 10th - 14th June and will present the project conclusions to a wide international audience (see "Dates for your Diary" below)

Information on the project and latest newsletter can be found on theprojectwebsite-



European Heritage Alliance 3.3

Heritage Europe is working with Europa Nostra and a wide range of European heritage organisations in the newly formed European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

Heritage Europe's Secretary General Brian Smith said, speaking at the launch conference in Amsterdam in June 2011- "the time is now right for European heritage organisations to work together to ensure future EU policy reflects the needs of cultural heritage and historic towns".


A working group, including Heritage Europe, has been established and met for the first time in Brussels on September 7th 2011 with further meetings taking place in 2012 and 2013.The aim is to produce a strategy document to directly influence future EU policy on cultural and natural heritage.

A letter setting out the Alliance's aims, co-signed by Heritage Europe's Secretary General Brian Smith and Europa Nostra's Secretary General Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, has been sent to European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou along with the first jointly produced document "Towards an EU Strategy for Cultural Heritage - The Case for Research"

Read more... Members... Letter...

As part of this new joint approach Heritage Europe is backing the "we are more" campaign launched by Culture Action Europe in partnership with the European Cultural Foundation.For more information on the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 and to give your support to the campaign - click here

For more information on the European Heritage Alliance visit the website www.europeanheritagealliance.eu

Creative Europe - Update on new funding programme.

Creative Europe replaces the MEDIA, MEDIA Mundus and Culture programmes. With a total budget of € 1.4 billion (2014 – 2020), Creative Europe represents a budget increase of 9 % compared to the previous programmes. A political agreement was reached, the European Parliament approving the new programme on 19 November, and  adopted by the Council. Creative Europe entered into force in January 2014.

Creative Europe will build on the successes of the previous programmes. The aim is to further strengthen cross border cooperation between the creative sectors within the EU and beyond. Through Creative Europe the cultural and creative sectors will contribute to cultural diversity as well as to growth and jobs in Europe in line with the "Europe 2020 Strategy" for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Latest information can be found at the website


Dates for your Diary….

3-6 February 2015. Leuven, Belgium. “Heritage Counts” - International Conference on the economic, social environmental and cultural impact of immovable heritage. The annual Thematic Week of the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (KU Leuven) will be held at Kasteelpark Arenberg from 3 to 6 February 2015 and will be dealing with the economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of immovable heritage.

Click here for more information (pdf link)

29 April – 2 May 2015, Mahon Menorca, Spain.Second International Conference on Best Practices in World Heritage: People and Communities.

Click here for more information

6-8 May 2015, Riga Latvia - URBACT City Festival.The URBACT City Festival will present cutting edge content on urban development, create links with the urban agendas in Europe and the globe and provide the opportunity to meet over 400 peers in the field.Celebrating the results of URBACT II, the networks created and the knowledge produced, the festival will sety the scene for URBACT III.

To find out more visit www.urbact.eu and go to events

27-29 May 2015, Istanbul Turkey. INTERTRAFFIC 2015. The 7th edition of INTERTRAFFIC will take place in Istanbul, Turkey and will bring together professionals in infrastructure, ITS/traffic management, safety and parking from countries around the globe. In 2014 more than 200 exhibitors from more than 30 countries presented their products and services once again proving INTERTRAFFIC to be the leading traffic technology event.

10-14 June Oslo European Heritage Congress 2015. The 2015 congress will incorporate the European Heritage awards ceremony which will take place on 11 June in Oslo City Hall internationally renowned for hosting the Nobel prize ceremony. One of the main events of the congress will be the presentation of the conclusions of the cooperation project “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe”

Visit WebLink for more information



ENCLOSE: An IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) programme project looking at logistics problems facing small and medium size historic towns.

Targeted actions are proposed to increase the energy efficiency of freight distribution in historic urban areas.


The Final ENCLOSE International Conference “Planning energy efficient city logistics policies and measures in small and mid-sized European cities" was held on the 22th of October 2014, in Brussels (Belgium).The event, hosted by the Permanent representation of Spain to the European Union, was a great success due to the high number of participants from all over Europe. 
During a networking cocktail, participants were introduced to the ENCLOSE project towns and other project partners. A dedicated poster session organised at the start of the conference offered a good networking opportunity for delegates and an introduction to the ENCLOSE project’s activities.

The purpose of the event was to network and disseminate results of the 9 small and medium-sized European cities of the ENCLOSE project and to share other’s experiences on sustainable city logistics within Europe. The workshop/conference discussed common issues, challenges and results with a number of European stakeholders and Municipalities.

Visit www.enclose.eu for project details and updates and for the latest project newsletter click here

PERHT –this project comes under the LIFE + 2011programme “Environmental Policy and Governance”. Aimed at small to medium sized historic towns it aims to look at issues related to transport (people and goods) and mobility in their historic urban centres.

Heritage Europe is a partner in this European project which was approved for EU funding at the beginning of October 2012. The project "kick off" meeting was held in Treviso Italy on the 22nd October 2012.

Click here for the project outline

For more details and up to date information on the project's progress go to www.perht-lifeplus.org


Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe (CHCFE)

The project aims to raise greater awareness on the multiple benefits of cultural heritage and present policy recommendations for tapping into the full potential of heritage. This cooperation project brings together 6 organisations representing 4 different countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom). Through the extensive European networks of all partners, and in particular through the close involvement of the policy grouping “European Heritage Alliance 3.3.” with its 29 participating European or international networks active in the field of heritage, the project will mobilise participation from all over Europe and thereby take on a truly pan-European scope. The project’s work will result in a European mapping of both qualitative and quantitative evidence-based research carried out at the European, national, regional, local and/or sectoral levels.

Information on the project and latest newsletter can be found on theprojectwebsite-



SHUC- A Sustainable Future for the Historic Urban Core” a JPI - JHEP JOINT PILOT TRANSNATIONAL CALL for Joint Research Projects on Cultural Heritage.

The project proposes to establish a collaborative network of researchers with a common interest in changing 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.


The project held its first workshop and seminar on the 6th November 2014 in Newcastle, UK.

As part of the workshop presentations were given by project partners from Delft and Dublin on the issues in their countries along with supporting case studies as well as case studies from each of the project’s English partners.

Click here for the workshop programme and download the workshop presentations.


Read the full project proposal here



HISTCAPE: "HISTorical assets and related landsCAPE"

This INTERREG IVC project will focus on small historic towns and the preservation of rural historic assets. Heritage Europe is one of 12 partners in this project representing 12 regions spread over 11 EU countries. The geographical spread will enable the project to address shared problems at local, regional, national and European levels.

HISTCAPE aims to arrest the decline of historical assets in rural areas. It plans to do this by developing sustainable management solutions to help responsible bodies develop a more dynamic view of cultural heritage assets in rural areas.

For the project overview -

Latest news on the project and activities can be found at                     www.histcape.eu


HerO Project

HerO logo.TIFHerO - “Heritage as Opportunity” was an Urbact II project looking at a methodology for a more integrated approach to the management of historic towns.In particular it showed how historic towns can benefit from EU structural funds. The project partners worked closely with Heritage Europe in the development and production of the final documents.The 'Road to Success' reports now published provide details about the project (the HerO Brochure). Policy recommendations are aimed at the Mayors and decision makers of Europe's historic cities. The Guidebook shows how to deliver a more integrated approach to the sustainable mangement of historic towns and is aimed at practioners. Flagship projects list succesful projects that have attracted significant funding form the European Structural  Funds and the Good Practice compilation sets out a wide range of case studies from the partner cities. Lastly the Strategy Paper aims to influence future EU policy presenting the case for more priority to be given to realising the untapped potential of cultural heritage in the period 2014 -2020. Download your copies nowclick on the individual reports here:


The HerO Brochure  

The Policy

The Guidebook   Flagship Projects
The Good Practice
  The Strategy Paper


For more information on the HerO Project visit www.urbact.eu/hero .

Printed versions of all documents are also available – please contact via e-mail to: welterbe@regensburg.de


INHERIT - Investing in Heritage

A Guide to Succesful Urban Regeneration

'Investing in Heritage – A guide to successful Urban Regeneration' presents a powerful and convincing analysis of good practice with clear recommendations aimed at local and regional authorities across Europe, on how to successfully regenerate cities through investing in heritage.

The full report is now available on-line.

Full Report pdf (2.69mb)


Sustainable Cultural Tourism - Guidelines

Heritage Europe set up a working group of experts to produce the Sustainable Cultural Tourism Guidelines which were completed in 2010.

The purpose of these guidelines is to show
how cultural tourism can be developed to
realise its economic and social potential but
in a more sustainable way.
The guidelines aim to achieve an integrated
and consistent approach to promoting
cultural tourism.

The Guidelines are intended for use principally by policy makers and practitioners within municipalities and those governmental agencies best placed to influence more sustainable approaches to cultural tourism.
They are designed to help decision makers openly assess their current approach and to develop a clear plan of action relevant to local circumstances.


The Sustainable Cultural Tourism Guidelines are available as a download in both summary and full versions. Printed copies of the summary are also available in both English and French – please contact the Secretariat at: - european-association@historic-towns.org




New Members

Heritage Europe's campaign to attract new members continues with particular emphasis on individual towns/cities. The campaign is proving to be a success with several new member towns/ cities joining the association. Heritage Europe is pleased to welcome -

Birgi Municipality,Turkey; Youghal, Ireland; Lugoj, Romania; Tarsus,Turkey; Great Yarmouth, UK; Sibiu, Romania; Korcula, Croatia; Pula, Croatia; Vukovar, Croatia as full city members and ENCLOSE project partner MemEx S.r.l. Italy.We look forward to their active participation in the work of our Association.


Go to Members to see the full listing.

        Heritage Europe - Join Us

                 By working together you can help us represent the vital interests of
                                       European Historic Towns and Regions.

To “Join Us” E-mail your details TODAY to:



Experience Exchange…. Nominate a member of your team now!

We are inviting submissions from member cities to nominate one person to work on a key issue in another member city of your choice for a period of a week. All expenses will be paid in return for a short report on the lessons learned. We supported a very successful experience exchange between, Delft, Netherlands and Newcastle on Tyne, UK in 2011 and 2012 saw the programme continue with an exchange between the member cities of Sighisoara, Romania and the Slovenian historic towns of Skofja Loka and Kranj.

Download the exchange visit reports here.



Historic Towns Working Together

Visit: www.historic-towns.org

Email: european-association@historic-towns.org

Secretariat: EAHTR, The Guildhall, Gaol Hill, Norwich, NR2 1JS, UK

Norwich City Council             

This website has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein."

The European Association of Historic Towns and Regions Ltd (EAHTR) is a ‘Public Equivalent Body’, a ‘not for profit’ legal entity . Its company number is 4411400 registered under UK law. The name ‘Heritage Europe’ is used for the purposes of marketing and publicity as provided for under item 1.1 of the EAHTR Constitution agreed by its General Assembly in September 2004.


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