ForHeritage: participatory approach to culture and heritage management

Hello,everyone! My name is Nika and I am a final year student of Cultural management at Baltazar Polytechnic, Zaprešić. In February of this year, I got a wonderful opportunity to volunteer in my home country of Croatia for the Interreg project – ForHeritage. Through my studies, I gained a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge about heritage management and through this project I got the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge and learn from the experts.

The central Europe region is abundant in historical buildings which are neglected or abandoned and without specific purpose. Therefore, this is the moment where the adequate management should come in and repurpose these buildings. In a broader sense, it is important to be aware of the problems such as the lack of strategic planning, public funding and practical knowledge.

The main goal of ForHeritage is to enhance heritage management in central Europe by providing heritage managers with innovative tools for integrated heritage management dealing with topics such as participatory management, public-private cooperation, innovative financial instruments, and impact assessment. The project benefits from the international cooperation of the involved countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Poland.

IRMO, my host organization, is working with the City of Rijeka in order to transform the Rikard Benčić complex in Rijeka. As a volunteer, I am engaged in the preparation of the training workshops to be held for heritage managers and decision makers as well as promotional activities.

What I love the most about culture and heritage management in general is the participatory approach promoted throughout the project. In order for a project to succeed, different stakeholders should be involved. This includes institutions, investors, consultants, civil society as well as local people and visitors. Excellence in heritage management is only achievable through considerate communication and cooperation between various stakeholders, which also resonates with the core values of the Interreg programmes.

Nika – IVY Project Partner for the Interreg Project “ForHeritage” at “Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)”

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