Heritage Opportunities/Threats within Mega-Events in Europe

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hull
Department Name: Culture, Place and Policy Institute

Abstract

In the past, many cities used mega-events to support capital and revenue investments and boost tourism
while harnessing their competitiveness on a global scale. Until recently, the emphasis has been placed by
and large on the creation of new infrastructural components, new stadiums and other public facilities to
host events. In many instances today, on the contrary, mega-event organizers have opted for the re-use
of existing facilities, the conversion of inner-city areas and the regeneration of neighborhoods.
For heritage-rich European cities, this shift in paradigm - driven in part by the contraction in public budgets
and by the reduced pace of expansion of cities - represents both an opportunity and a threat.
How can we bring mega-events back into the urban historic fabric while fostering positive synergies with
urban heritage and cultural landscapes? What are the common issues and main trade-offs to be addressed
in European cities? How to improve urban and cultural planning tools for mega-events in heritage-rich
cities?

The HOMEE project brings together leading research centers working in the fields of cultural heritage
preservation and mega-event planning, in close contact with key institutions and policy officers who have
already had or will have direct responsibility for planning and implementing mega-events in Europe. In
order to answer the above mentioned questions , the HOMEE project will critically assess four recently
completed mega-events and address emerging issues and opportunities through a Living Lab organised
during the Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 event. Finally, the project will generate guidance and
policy recommendations to support heritage preservation policy and mega-event planning in future host
cities in Europe (through the HOMEE Charter).

Planned Impact

The activities and deliverables of the research are aimed at cultural heritage policy-makers and mega event actors and stakeholders at different levels, from local inhabitants to international experts. The HOMEE project will bring the experiences and knowledge of these different groups together to develop
the reports and findings that will ultimately inform the final research output, the HOMEE Charter. Associate Partners for the project include representatives of national and international heritage bodies and ministries.

National Case Studies Report
Four national case studies (Milan 2015, Wroclaw 2016, Hull 2017, Pafos, 2017) will provide new information on recent events that have not yet been studied or published about in depth, and highlight important issues pertaining to cultural heritage. The information collected will provide valuable insights for academics and the Associate Partners connected to these events to show the far-reaching impacts.

Matera Baseline Report
The Matera Baseline Report presents the potential heritage opportunities and threats by the start of the 2019, which is the year of celebration. The report will be geared specifically towards the residents of Matera and will aim to give a voice to those affected by the planning and implementation of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019.

Matera 2019 Living Lab
The Living Lab will involve local users as co-innovators, placing local actors in a central role to lead discussions on their heritage and the impact of the mega-event. The Lab will then develop a community-based investigation that responds to the issues and concerns the community identifies. The experience of the Living Lab will be a vital component that informs the HOMEE Charter (see below) about local heritage viewpoints in mega-events. The lessons learned can be scaled up and spread to other events through the Associate Partners and ultimately implemented in the Kaunas ECoC 2022.

HOMEE Charter
The charter will distill all lessons learned to suggest practical guidelines on how to politically and technically contribute to a city's heritage while hosting a mega-event. It will fill a gap in policy, to focus on and empower local actors, based on the experience of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019. The charter will provide recommendations and planning tools for local decision-makers and mega-event managers. It will respond to the lack of clear and concise recommendations for cities on how to best utilise these events to incorporate their cultural heritage without putting it at risk. More generally, the charter will highlight the specific threats to be aware of and proposals to develop more conscious cultural and tourism policies that do not neglect local needs and priorities, aiming to avoid the standardisation of heritage towns and cities. Finally, the HOMEE Charter, with the endorsement of the Associate Partners, will propose recommendations for international bodies in charge of mega-events. As no current policies specifically address heritage issues within mega-events, the HOMEE Charter will be a resource to ensure that cultural heritage will benefit from these events.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The project has made a contribution to the knowledge particularly in two areas: 1) in relation to the understanding of the importance of the scale of cultural mega events for their financial and environment sustainability; 2) the impacts of cultural mega events on heritage and on the development of sustainable tourism.
Exploitation Route The findings from this research projects are of interest to politicians and policy makers involved in the organisation of cultural mega events to develop a more balanced approach to the role of heritage assets in such events. The findings are of interest also to cultural programmers and organisers of large scale cultural events, as well as to spatial planners. The project has a strong emphasis on the development of planning tools for the sustainable management of the role of heritage in cultural mega events.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other

URL http://tau-lab.polimi.it/research/homee/
 
Description Early research findings (mainly about the role of heritage in Hull UK City of Culture 2017) have been well received by heritage professionals, policy makers, politicians, academics, cultural funders, and representatives from cultural organisations at public seminars held in: Evora, Portugal, on 14th-15th February 2019; at the University of Hull on 13th March 2019; in Matera in June 2019, at the '5th Heritage Forum of Central Europe: Heritage and Environment', Krakow, September 2019. Dissemination events with elements aimed at arts and culture professionals have been cancelled or postponed since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are attempting to reach these constituencies via publications
First Year Of Impact 2000
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description HOMEE research partnership. 
Organisation Neapolis University
Country Cyprus 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team at the University of Hull, UK, was responsible for organising the second project meeting. It took place at the University of Hull from 20th-22nd February 2019. The meeting focused on a discussion of the literature review for the project, of budgets, and of initial drafts of the case studies about the 2015 Expo in Milan, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and three European Capitals of Culture: Genoa 2004, Wroclaw 2016 and Pafos 2017. The programme of the Hull meeting also included a guided walk of key heritage locations in the city centre and a session with three officers from Hull City Council (working in the fields of heritage, tourism and urban design) and two colleagues from Absolutely Cultured, the successor company to Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Ltd. The University of Hull team, focused around the Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI), made a key contribution to the organisation and delivery of 'Living Labs' in Matera (European Capital of Culture 2019) in June 2019. The CPPI team also organised a parallel session at the 'Heritage and Environment. 5th Heritage Forum for Central Europe', held at the International Cultural Centre, Krakow, Poland, in September 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The first meeting, held at the Polytechnic of Milan in early November 2018, was organised by our colleagues in the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Polytechnic University of Milan. The meeting clarified the project's research protocols, methodology and timetable. The meeting also included a visit to heritage sites in Milan city centre which hosted events and activities which formed part of the cultural programme of the 2015 Milan Expo (which is one of the case studies for the project). The Milan meeting also included a session with officers from Milan City Council working in the fields of tourism and events, who gave presentations about aspects of their work related to the 2015 Expo. The team at the Polytechnic University of Milan prepared a first draft of the Matera case study for the project. They have also continued to versee the organisation of the project very efficiently and effectively.
Impact The collaboration involves experts from the following disciplines: architecture, spatial planning, urban design, cultural policy, cultural management, urban history, cultural economics, historical geography and cultural geography. The following two outputs have been published: Ponzini D., Jones Z.M., Bianchini F., Tommarchi E., Georgi J.-Tzortzi N., Dova E., Sivitanidou A., Anastasi N., Purchla J., Sanetra-Szeliga J., Knas P., Dabrowski A., Koziol (2019) Literature Review of Mega-events Addressing Cultural Heritage Issues. Available at: http://www.tau-lab.polimi.it/homee-literature-review-regarding-mega-events-cultural-heritage/ - Ponzini D., Bianchini F., Georgi J.-Tzortzi N., Sanetra-Szeliga J. (eds) (2020) Mega-events and heritage: The experience of five European cities. Krakow: International Cultural Centre. Available at: http://www.tau-lab.polimi.it/
Start Year 2018
 
Description HOMEE research partnership. 
Organisation Polytechnic University of Milan
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team at the University of Hull, UK, was responsible for organising the second project meeting. It took place at the University of Hull from 20th-22nd February 2019. The meeting focused on a discussion of the literature review for the project, of budgets, and of initial drafts of the case studies about the 2015 Expo in Milan, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and three European Capitals of Culture: Genoa 2004, Wroclaw 2016 and Pafos 2017. The programme of the Hull meeting also included a guided walk of key heritage locations in the city centre and a session with three officers from Hull City Council (working in the fields of heritage, tourism and urban design) and two colleagues from Absolutely Cultured, the successor company to Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Ltd. The University of Hull team, focused around the Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI), made a key contribution to the organisation and delivery of 'Living Labs' in Matera (European Capital of Culture 2019) in June 2019. The CPPI team also organised a parallel session at the 'Heritage and Environment. 5th Heritage Forum for Central Europe', held at the International Cultural Centre, Krakow, Poland, in September 2019.
Collaborator Contribution The first meeting, held at the Polytechnic of Milan in early November 2018, was organised by our colleagues in the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Polytechnic University of Milan. The meeting clarified the project's research protocols, methodology and timetable. The meeting also included a visit to heritage sites in Milan city centre which hosted events and activities which formed part of the cultural programme of the 2015 Milan Expo (which is one of the case studies for the project). The Milan meeting also included a session with officers from Milan City Council working in the fields of tourism and events, who gave presentations about aspects of their work related to the 2015 Expo. The team at the Polytechnic University of Milan prepared a first draft of the Matera case study for the project. They have also continued to versee the organisation of the project very efficiently and effectively.
Impact The collaboration involves experts from the following disciplines: architecture, spatial planning, urban design, cultural policy, cultural management, urban history, cultural economics, historical geography and cultural geography. The following two outputs have been published: Ponzini D., Jones Z.M., Bianchini F., Tommarchi E., Georgi J.-Tzortzi N., Dova E., Sivitanidou A., Anastasi N., Purchla J., Sanetra-Szeliga J., Knas P., Dabrowski A., Koziol (2019) Literature Review of Mega-events Addressing Cultural Heritage Issues. Available at: http://www.tau-lab.polimi.it/homee-literature-review-regarding-mega-events-cultural-heritage/ - Ponzini D., Bianchini F., Georgi J.-Tzortzi N., Sanetra-Szeliga J. (eds) (2020) Mega-events and heritage: The experience of five European cities. Krakow: International Cultural Centre. Available at: http://www.tau-lab.polimi.it/
Start Year 2018
 
Description "Mega-events and heritage: learning, legacies and the urban space in the case of Hull UK City of Culture 2017", seminar by E. Tommarchi, Polytechnic of Milan, 27th March 2019. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The seminar aimed to provide an understanding of how the UK City of Culture 2017 in Hull impacted on urban policies and heritage projects and how the engagement of local citizens with heritage was pursued through the event. Hull started recognising its maritime past and it began working towards nominating the city center being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with several landmarks listed as national heritage sites. These various processes will be considered for their impact on the future outlook and planning of the city as well as change in image and perception.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 'Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 and the role of heritage', talk given by F. Bianchini and E. Tommarchi, Heritage Open Days, Hull, September 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Matera, in Southern Italy, is one of two cities (the other being Plovdiv in Bulgaria) hosting the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 2019. The city is known internationally for its rich and very long history and for the heritage area of the Sassi. However, in the late 1940s, the area was portrayed by a leading Italian politician as a 'national shame' because of residents' living conditions, and its population was moved into newly planned districts in the city's outskirts. The Matera 2019 ECoC programme is now engaging with local heritage and aims to present the city as a possible model for culture-driven urban regeneration in the underdeveloped South of Italy.
Making use of visual material, in particular photographs, this presentation provided an overview of key aspects of the Matera ECOC 2019 programme, and of the relationship between the mega event and local heritage, also presenting initial results from the HOMEE research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 'Mega-events, heritage and the city: reflections on Matera European Capital of Culture 2019', lecture by F. Bianchini at '5th Heritage Forum of Central Europe: Heritage and Environment', International Cultural Centre, Krakow, September 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The paper discussed the case of Matera European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2019 within the framework of a wider European research project on opportunities for/threats to heritage within cultural mega-events.
Mega-events can help foster participation in heritage-related activities, public engagement, debate and learning. They can also facilitate the recognition and protection of heritage resources. Conversely, unbalanced mega-events planning can lead to overtourism, commodification and physical damage to heritage and environmental assets.
The paper provided a context for the case of Matera ECoC 2019, including a brief discussion of the ancient city centre districts known as 'Sassi' ('Stones'), which obtained World Heritage status in 1993. The concluding sections will consider urban transformations in Matera which are directly related to the 2019 ECoC. These include the risk of "touristification" and gentrification, as well as the unsatisfactory co-operation between local and regional institutions and the weakness of post-ECoC 2019 legacy plans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Creating the Past: Cultural programming inspired by heritage within Hull UK City of Culture 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The activity was a free public seminar organised by the Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI). It was held on 13th March 2019 at the University of Hull. It combined the presentation of key outcomes from the National Lottery Heritage Fund investment into Hull UK City of Culture 2017 with insights from those involved in the project. The event ended with a panel discussion with contributions from artists, heritage practitioners, academics and funders about the benefits and challenges of taking a creative approach to exploring and sharing our heritage. Franco Bianchini and Enrico Tommarchi presented at the seminar some insights from their case study about the role of heritage in Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Such insights were discussed from a European comparative perspective, with reference to the role of heritage in a range of European Capitals of Culture from 1990-2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://culturenet.co.uk/events/creating-the-past
 
Description Culture Capital Cities workshop, Evora, Portugal, 14th-15th February 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Franco Bianchini was invited by the municipality of Evora, Portugal, to contribute to the international workshop "Culture Capital Cities", held in Evora on 14th and 15th February 2019. The title of Franco's contribution is "Culture Capital Cities: Framework Considerations". The workshop formed part of Evora City Council's preparation to bid for the 2027 European Capital of Culture title. The workshop was an opportunity to meet representatives from the European Commission (Cultural and Creative Industries Team), the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Cultural Foundation, Creative Dundee and the European Center for Creative Economy (based in Dortmund, Germany). All travel and accommodation costs are covered by Evora City Council. Franco's presentation discussed also aspects of the role of local heritage resources and policies in European Capitals of Culture, and was in part based on initial results from the HOMEE research project. This is of particular interest to policy makers and politicians in Evora, whose historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.evora2027.com/en/content/programme/programme.html