“..because tourists can come and go but the Venetians have to live there and they are the ones who have to deal with what comes before and after..”

In our first interview with Fabio Carrera we have already talked about the relationship between cultural heritage and economic development.

It is interesting to further discuss its potential to improve social capital, stimulate economic growth and sustainability.

In this context, we like to consider the initiatives of the European Commission. For example, the Cultural Heritage Action Framework where sustainability is one of the five pillars.

There are three action clusters included in the EU framework:

- Regenerating cities and regions through cultural heritage.

- Promote the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

- Balance access to cultural heritage with sustainable cultural tourism and natural heritage

We would like to take this opportunity with Fergus Maclaren to discuss these three clusters perhaps considering similar initiatives or examples in other parts of the world.

The three questions addressed:

- When it comes to regenerating cities through cultural heritage, what should the community expect from local government and public body organisation?

- How can we ensure an adaptive reuse of the historic cultural heritage building

- Balance access to cultural heritage with sustainable cultural tourism and natural heritage

Regenerating cities through cultural heritage

Let's talk about the first cluster: regenerating cities and regions through cultural heritage. If this were possible, we could regenerate the whole of Italy thanks to the fact that cultural heritage is everywhere in the country.

Adaptive reuse

There are many examples of practices of adaptation of cultural heritage assets, others left in disuse with all the consequences of possible abandonment.

Sustainable cultural tourism

Regarding the third cluster: balancing access to cultural heritage with sustainable cultural tourism and natural heritage. For example, in Venice this point has been under discussion for a long time but unfortunately the Venetian population decreases significantly every year and the real estate sector is more related to bed and breakfasts and short term rentals to attract tourists instead of students or remote workers. One can observe the same problem happening in the center of many other cities.

At the beginning of 1950, there were 175,000 residents in the city of Venice. In 2021 there are 50,000.


Fergus Maclaren, Andrea Monaco

– arti-talk #2

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