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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.

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SAVE the DATE - 22nd October 2014


IEE ENCLOSE Project “Energy Efficient Logistics Services for Small and Mid-Sized Historic Towns in Europe”
Final Conference
Planning energy efficient city logistics policies and measures
in small and mid-sized European cities

See Dates for your Diary below for further details


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"


Sustainable Transport Workshop – Update

The one day workshop held  at The Forum in Norwich, UK organised by Heritage Europe as part of the ENCLOSE and PERHT projects was hailed as a great success by all participants. The seminar / workshop welcomed 46 delegates from 17 European countries.

The workshop looked at practical measures that can improve the quality of life in our historic centres through improvements in energy efficiency and air quality - benefiting residents, visitors and the historic fabric.
European case studies from LUCCA – Italy, TRONDHEIM – Norway, DEN BOSCH - Netherlands, TREVISO – Italy, and NORWICH - UK presented examples of good practice in freight logistics, urban mobility, energy efficiency in transporting both goods and people - all measures aimed at improving mobility, and reducing environmental impacts in historic city centres notably through the reduction of CO2 emissions to meet EU targets for 2020 and beyond.

View the presentations:

Introduction to PROJECTS

Urban Logistics Innovation in a mid-size Historic City – Lucca

Towards a Zero CO2 Postal Distribution System in Trondheim


The Forum looking out to St Peter Mancroft Church

The presentations produced interesting and lively questions both during and at the summing up of the workshop – chaired by Heritage Europe’s Secretary General Brian Smith. All agreed on the value of such events and delegates would take back ideas and examples of good practice as practical measures they could implement on the ground.

Parking Systems and Integrated Mobility – the LIFE+ PERHT project

Developing a Sustainable Transport System for Norwich


Heritage Europe member secures funding for new partnership with the Devetaki Plateau Association, Bulgaria

Heritage Europe member Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust has been awarded funding from the Headley Trust for a new project to deliver traditional skills training in Bulgaria. The Trust will be working in partnership with the Devetaki Plateau Association, a Bulgarian NGO. The two organisations are sharing knowledge, skills and experience to work together in tackling common problems of the loss of traditional building skills, the erosion of cultural heritage and issues of high unemployment and social deprivation


Working together the two organisations will increase local skills, create employment opportunities, support tourism and safeguard the historic built environment.  The project will begin in early 2014.

Members interested in finding out more and the possibilities of involvement in the project should contact  Darren Barker Principal Conservation Officer, Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust at darren@great-yarmouth.gov.uk

Find out more on both organisations by visiting: www.greatyarmouthpreservationtrust.org and www.devetakiplateau.org


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 has been reached, the European Parliament approved 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


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.


As part of the next phase the project seeks to collect as much data and evaluation studies of cases or projects as possible so -


For information on how you can contribute... in English and French

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



Dates for your Diary….

2-6 September 2014, Chichester, UK. European Walled Towns Symposium. "Heritage and Cultural Tourism".The EWT symposium will be held in Chichester, UK in September.

Further details and draft programme can be found at www.walledtowns.com

11-12 September 2014, Dubrovnik Croatia. 2 day workshop - Day 1 "Sustainable Management Solutions, Focus on Management Issues in Historic Centres". Day 2 "Sustainable Transport Solutions - How to Improve Energy Efficiency and Air Quality in Historic Centres". The 2 day event organised by the City of Dubrovnik, the Croatian Association of Historic Towns and Heritage Europe, in association with the EX.PO AUS / ENCLOSE / PERHT projects will be held at the Importanne Resort, Dubrovnik.

The 2–day workshops will look at practical measures that can improve the quality of life in our historic city centres through understanding how to manage and care for heritage buildings and how to improve energy efficiency and air quality - benefiting residents, visitors and the historic fabric.

For programme details and registration form CLICK HERE

24-25 September 2014, Dubrovnik Croatia. The Best in Heritage 2014.The Best in Heritage is an annual survey of award-winning museum, heritage and conservation projects. Organised under special patronage of ICOM and in partnership with Europa Nostra, it is supported by The City of Dubrovnik and Croatian Ministry of Culture. The conference programme features examples of best practices from the field of museums and heritage. Twenty-four laureates awarded in 2013, coming from all over the world, will present their achievements and take part in Q&A sessions and moderated panels.

Visit www.thebestinheritage.com/conference/programme for programme and further details

26-27 September 2014, Rome Italy.The 2nd INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.The 2nd ICSD 2014 will be held at the Sapienza University of Rome, from Friday 26 to Saturday 27 September, 2014. The Conference theme is: "Creating a unified foundation for Sustainable Development: research, practice and education".

Visit www.ecsdev.org/index.php/conference/2d-icsd-2014 for conference details

29-30 September 2014, Madrid Spain. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN HISTORIC BUILDINGS: EXPERIENCES & SOLUTIONS. How to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings while preserving their historic character, values and historical integrity. The conference will be held in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Madrid.

Visit www.energy-heritage.com for conference programme and further details.

22 October 2014, Brussels Belgium. ENCLOSE project Final Conference. The project’s final conference “The Sustainable Urban Logistic Plan: A key element for the future of the small and medium city” will be held in the city of Brussels.

Further details including on-line registration are available now on the project website www.enclose.eu

29 October - 1 November 2014, Halle Germany. FRH (Future for Religious Heritage) Conference "Sustaining Rural Religious Heritage". FRH's third International conference will take place in Halle, Germany and will bring together practitioners and policymakers working to save and promote religious heritage across Europe. The aim of the conference is to develop and share new thinking on sustaining historic religious buildings and recognising their value in the rural context.

More information can be found at www.frh-europe.org

6-8 November 2014, Bologna Italy. NEMO Annual Conference. NEMO (The Network of European Museum Organisations) will be holding its 22nd annual conference in Bologna.This year's topic for the conference is "Living together in a sustainable Europe - museums working for social cohesion". The conference will look at the social potential of museums in times of economic and social stress.

Programme and further information will be available soon at:


13-14 November 2014, Quedlinburg Germany. Organisation of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) regional conference will take place in Quedlinburg, Germany on the occasion of the city's 20th anniversary of holding UNESCO World Heritage site status. The theme of this year's regional conference is "Crisis as opportunity for World Heritage Cities - Resilience"

For more information and programme details visit the conference website at www.ovpm.org/en/regional_secretariats/northwest_europe


Study Visit to Poitiers - Visit Update

Heritage Europe in association with the City of Poitiers recently held their 2013 study visit to the city of Poitiers.

The 2000 year old city, capital of the Poitu-Charentes region showcased its “Coeur d’Agglo” project, a comprehensive example of a “makeover” of the streets of a historic city.

Project “Coeur D’Agglo” conceived by Yves Lion is an ambitious redesign of the ‘public realm’ in the historic centre of Poitiers. The redesign has included new paving, traffic measures, green spaces and improved lighting.



The study visit was well attended by participants ranging from politicians,surveyors,International officers,engineers,architects,technical officers and advisors representing Heritage Europe City members, NGOs, and national heritage associations. 

For the visit programme: click here!

Click below for the Study Visit Presentations:

Presentations: One (318.85mbs) • Two (54.17mbs) • Three (35.17mbs)


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

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.


We are inviting historic towns who are interested in the project to contribute. An initial step is to complete the survey questionnaire linked below and return to us.

Survey Questionnaire.

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


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


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


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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