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Resolution 1924 (2013) Final version

Industrial heritage in Europe

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin: Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 8 March 2013 (see Doc. 13134, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Ms Dervoz).

Eurovoc

  • heritage protection
  • urban renewal
  • European industrial area
  • cultural identity
  • historic site

1. The Parliamentary Assembly recalls Europe’s pioneering role in global industrialisation, which is also reflected by the majority of European industrial heritage sites which are included on the Unesco World Heritage lists (36 out of 46). It believes that European industrial heritage – including both its tangible and intangible components – is a building block of our shared identity as it reflects a rich historic interaction through the transfer of skills and expertise, technology and processes across national boundaries. The understanding and appreciation of this European heritage and its most significant sites must therefore be passed on to future generations.

2. The Assembly considers that the effective protection of European industrial heritage requires a European label for industrial heritage to provide an intermediary (European) level of protection for the sites of a clearly European, if not world, significance which would also cover so-called “heritage constellations” (sites that are thematically or territorially interconnected).

3. The Assembly calls for continuous encouragement of public involvement and volunteer work to generate awareness and appreciation of the value of industrial heritage and contribute through grassroots initiatives to designating for protection, preserving and converting to new uses thousands of industrial heritage sites across Europe. In this respect, the Assembly supports the campaign of the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage (E-FAITH) calling for a European Industrial Heritage Year in 2015.

4. With a view to ensuring that the legacy of Europe’s Age of Industry is safeguarded for future generations, the Assembly recommends that the member States of the Council of Europe:

4.1. sign, ratify and implement the European Landscape Convention (ETS No. 176) and the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”);
4.2. join the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes and the European Route of Industrial Heritage network (ERIH), which provide an excellent framework for concerted action to promote and preserve European heritage at the national and international level;
4.3. include in the legislation on protection of historic sites specific criteria to be applied to industrial heritage, so that a greater number of sites can be designated for protection;
4.4. create interdisciplinary research teams, with, inter alia, scientific and technical expertise, to draw up and regularly update comprehensive inventories of the industrial heritage at regional and national level;
4.5. ensure that advisory panels composed of experts and representatives of official agencies work and take decisions in a transparent manner when considering sites for protection;
4.6. value volunteer expertise and create co-operation mechanisms to associate non-governmental organisations with various procedures related to the protection and effective management of industrial heritage, and, when necessary, nurture volunteer resources by providing capacity-building initiatives;
4.7. value industrial heritage sites as part of a wider social landscape interconnected with skills and local memory and identity, and consider its potential as a key element of territorial development strategies;
4.8. encourage the establishment of a network of multidisciplinary task forces – bringing together expertise in relevant domains such as building history, monument protection, urban planning and financial strategies, investment and partnerships – to facilitate knowledge sharing in sustainable regeneration projects that are driven by rehabilitation of industrial heritage sites;
4.9. introduce measures to safeguard relevant disused industrial heritage sites from destruction, particularly in urban areas where land values are high;
4.10. enter all sites of interest into official planning databases or their equivalent, in order to enable constructive dialogue between property developers and conservationists;
4.11. encourage community involvement, not only to preserve local testimonies and identity, but also to define the scope of regeneration projects;
4.12. when converting industrial buildings to new uses, introduce measures to guarantee respect of the character and the integrity of buildings, as well as the character of the community;
4.13. facilitate provision of resources through private–public partnerships to ensure that funds are available for heritage conservation within rehabilitation projects of industrial sites;
4.14. create partnerships with private and non-governmental organisations to raise awareness and appreciation of the value of industrial heritage and seek interaction with other cultural resources and cultural heritage sites that are available locally, regionally and internationally (for example through cultural walks, cultural routes and networks, European Heritage Day events, theme activities, etc.).

5. The Assembly invites the European Union and Unesco to:

5.1. co-operate with the Council of Europe in supporting the effective implementation of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society and the European Landscape Convention with respect to industrial heritage;
5.2. consider the possibility of launching, together with the Council of Europe, a European industrial heritage year in 2015;
5.3. engage in a pan-European exchange and networking together with the Council of Europe and other relevant organisations having expertise in industrial heritage, such as the European Route of Industrial Heritage network, the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage and Europa Nostra, with a view to:
5.3.1. developing guidance and financial incentives for the protection and preservation of industrial heritage sites across Europe;
5.3.2. establishing a catalogue of good practice and case studies drawn from a wide range of countries, highlighting the heritage conservation part in different projects;
5.3.3. providing an overview of Europe’s industrial heritage, either on a country-by-country basis or thematically, and preparing thematic (sector-by-sector) studies to underline the role of industrial heritage in forging the European identity;
5.3.4. establishing a comprehensive and representative list of European industrial monuments;
5.3.5. studying how best to utilise potential energy sources in industrial buildings (reuse of the building structure, recycling of materials, etc.);
5.3.6. studying how best to reconcile ecological measures (for example European Union water directives), building standards and risk prevention norms with the preservation of the integrity of industrial heritage.

6. The Assembly invites the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to take account of the present resolution and to promote co-operation between local and regional authorities in the area of the protection and promotion of industrial heritage.