Transformation and resilience of our landscapes, archaeology and built heritage: defining responses to societal and environmental pressures

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of Scotland
Department Name: School of Science

Abstract

Cultural Heritage will, in the near future, be subject to substantial transformation in response to changing climate. Mitigation and adaptation measures will affect economic governance, and introduce sustainability pressures on buildings and landscape (e.g. thermal efficiency, renewables), in addition to the direct physical, chemical and organic impacts from the changing environment (e.g. coastal erosion, landslides, urban development material dissolution, microbial colonisation). Affects will occur on a range of scales that will drive changes in conservation needs. We desperately need to understand the resilience of the Cultural Heritage against these transformational pressures, from a material perspective, but also how we can be more effective in decision making and management from government to citizen level. A complex interaction exists between social and material aspects; scientific understanding and innovation plays a central part in our perceptions and valuation of the Cultural Heritage. As a result, inorder to meet future challenges there is a need to develop effective, adaptable management and decision making policies and methodologies, that utilise to best effect the latest scientific and technological developments. We aim to form a cluster that will establish, in a regional context for Scotland and Northern Ireland, a unified and interdisciplinary response to these threats and opportunities for innovation.

Publications

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John J Hughes (2013) Future Proofing Heritage: Understanding Transformation and Resilience in our Cultural Landscapes, Archaeology and Built Heritage in AHRC/EPSRC SCIENCE & HERITAGE PROGRAMME • SUSTAINING THE IMPACT OF UK SCIENCE AND HERITAGE RESEARCH

 
Description The response to our stated aims crystallized around the concepts of Dynamic Heritage and steps towards 'Future-Proofing Heritage'. The key transformational pressures were easily identified as climate variability and our societal, technical and managerial response to this as it effects cultural heritage. Climate variability is currently bringing about change in the World Heritage Sites that we focused upon and these changes are having direct impacts upon valuation and management at these sites. For example, slope instabilities caused by increased rainfall and storminess at the Giant's Causeway have had practical effects on visitor access because of path closures and in Orkney increased storminess is threatening the stability of sites such as Skara Brae.

The key issue that emerged in relation to managing cultural heritage priorities in the context of dynamic change was the need to re-evaluate our attitudes and our ways of attributing value. A major achievement of the cluster was the development of a detailed, and fairly exhaustive community statement, listing key concerns and research priorities fulfilling our aim of defining a roadmap for future research activity. Highlights of this include the need for appropriate baselines to allow thresholding of affects and for the development of methodologies for prioritization as an aid to decision making. From the cluster activities it was clear that there are many detailed, technical research needs covering methods of monitoring assets, understanding systems of change and the behaviour of materials. For buildings, the effects of layered conservation interventions in the context of change is a complex question to address. Evidence presented at the final workshop showed how renewable energy can be incorporated into traditional buildings. This, combined with improved glazing and other insulation measures shows how these buildings' performance can be optimized in the face of increasing statutory environments. In the future if the historic built environment is to be maintained it will need to be 'future proof' not only for the changing natural but also social and economic environment. Digital recording of sites and buildings using laser scanning has increased significantly in recent times. Two key participants in the cluster (QUB, HS) are active in area, promoting it as an important baselining method. It is being applied in Archaeological settings in addition to recording of urban building condition. Additional non-destructive assessment techniques that are applied include thermal imaging and GIS. Data management arising from baselining activities was also considered a major factor in future research.

An objective of the cluster was to develop a research network that would last beyond the initial funding period. Evidence of success in meeting this were the active and ongoing collaborations between cluster members that were formed, as evidenced in subsequent sections of this report. Following the close of the cluster activities Historic Scotland organised a seminar; "Heritage Science in Scotland", in Glasgow in September 2010. A wide range of activities affecting immovable and movable heritage were presented, representing projects active in universities and public heritage organisations. One recommendation coming from the meeting was the need to develop a more coherent heritage science community in Scotland, within which the cluster members were well placed to contribute. The meeting in Glasgow was significant therefore in linking the cluster group to the wider heritage science community in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Exploitation Route The outcomes form a basis for the development of a research agenda for specific topics in the management and care of immovable cultural heritage in the face of climate change. This is not limited to the academic community, but due to the high involvement of the practicing conservation community there is potential for impact on public policy in terms of mainstreaming climate change awareness into management of heritage assets. The imapct was felt through he development of the MSc in Heritage Science and Queen's Belfast (2010-2015) and a doctoral project now runnign (2015-) at Uni of West of Scotland, looking at vulnerability of Heritage to climate change transformation.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description The interdisciplinary mix of scientific, social and humanities viewpoints ensured that new perspectives were developed, and novel approaches based on this mix brought out. New themes emerged, notably that of 'Dynamic Heritage' and 'Future Proofing Heritage'. The focus on the specific characteristics and issues surrounding the world heritage sites visited raised a mix of interrelated technical and social questions. Hearing views from varied perspectives clarified that problems can be approached in diverse ways, and that the best, most novel solutions probably involve input from many disciplines. New collaborations were forged, resulting in novel research proposal development and some joint work that has endured. For Example: - Taught Postgraduate Programme in Heritage Science: Leading directly from its involvement in the network, the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen's University Belfast has established a taught postgraduate programme in Heritage Science. - Collaboration with other networks: Collaborative links have been established with the AHRC network dealing with the decay and conservation of stone monuments. - Queen's University also funded a meeting in Belfast with the two stone monument network leaders that resulted in an outline application to Leverhulme to work on the conservation of standing stones (unsuccessful) and ongoing collaboration in a joint bid under EU FP7 for the development of 'smart materials' for use in conservation. - Heritage Science in Scotland, October 2010: a workshop organised by Historic Scotland highlighting of the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach. The workshop derived inspiration from the themes developed in the cluster. - the identification of the role of Values in heritage conservation was used as the basis for a further AHRC Research Development Grant, that was funded in early 2013. - in 2017 perspectives from the network informed a submission to the EU's H2020 programme (bid entitled ANCCHORS, about risk and sustainable management of coastal cultural heritage).
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Construction,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation Arteria Association
Country Poland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdansk
Country Poland 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation Government of Scotland
Department Historic Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre
Country Norway 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation National Research Council
Department Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg
Country Netherlands 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation University of Aveiro
Department Department of Civil Engineering
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ANCCHORS 
Organisation University of the Highlands and Islands
Department Environmental Research Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Funding bid made to H2020 workprogramme "Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions", call H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017; "Europe in a changing world". The proposal was called ANCCHORS:A Network of Coastal Communities: Heritage Opportunities and Research for Sustainability. We at UWS coordinated this first stage proposal.
Collaborator Contribution All partners collaborated on the formulation of the funding bid, contributing case study and methodological materials.
Impact None as yet, awaiting decision on entry to stage two of the scheme. Update Feb 2018- the proposal application was unsuccessful, notified in mid 2017.
Start Year 2016