What is it

Heritage Europe
What is it?

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

Heritage Europe now represents through its range of membership categories over 1000 historic and heritage towns, cities and regions in 30 European countries.

Heritage Europe’s principle objective is to promote the interests of historic towns and cities across Europe through:-

  • International co-operation between heritage organisations, and historic towns, cities and regions.
  • Sharing experience and good practice between historic towns, cities and regions.
  • Promoting vitality, viability and sustainable management of historic towns, cities and regions.

What does Heritage Europe do?
Our main focus is to bring historic towns together to share and disseminate good practice in the sustainable management of historic towns. In particular we aim to identify the underlying processes that lead to success. Specifically we: –

Organise international symposia.
Since its inception Heritage Europe has organised, or helped to organise, over 20 international symposia throughout Europe.

Commission research and produce guidelines on good practice
“Sustainable Cultural Tourism in Historic Towns and Cities” are an example and form part of an on-going programme of guidelines prepared by experts commissioned by Heritage Europe.

Lead and participate in European projects.
Heritage Europe has led or participated in a wide range of EU funded projects. Examples include:-

INHERIT – “Investing in Heritage: a Guide to Successful Urban Regeneration” an EU Interreg IIIC project in which Heritage Europe was lead partner. The project produced detailed recommendations on how to successfully regenerate historic cities through investing in heritage.

HerO – Heritage as Opportunity – an URBACT Fast Track project where the partners developed integrated management strategies for historic urban landscapes. Outputs included a “Guidebook” on best practice, a compilation of case studies, local action plans, “Policy Recommendations” aimed at Mayors, and a strategy paper aimed at influencing future EU policy on cultural heritage.

See “Projects” for publications and further information relating to these and other projects

Arrange study visits and staff exchanges.
Heritage Europe organises study visits to historic cities across Europe in order to understand different approaches to common problems.
Visits have included historic towns in Slovenia, the Netherlands, and the world heritage cities of Vilnius in Lithuania and Graz in Austria.

We also fund short staff exchanges between member cities to facilitate a direct exchange of experience.

How to Join

The constitution of EAHTR provides for 3 categories of paying members. these are:

  • Full membership – Individual Historic Towns, Cities and Regions and Associations of Historic towns
  • Associate Membership – relevant organisations, companies, educational/professional Institutes and Universities
  • Personal Membership – Interested individuals who share Heritage Europe’s aims and objectives
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