2019 Yearbook

22 Y E A R B O O K 2 0 1 9 strategies were required to address the impact of both natural and man-made consequences, including greater universal integration of cultural heritage requirements into existing and future funded research, and information and mapping development programmes. Improvements were also needed in unifying the accessibility of national and regional/local strategic guidelines and regulations, including addressing the ‘linguistic obstacle’ where texts are only available in local languages, not in English. Amendments to Eurocodes and other relevant standards would be required to take into account the physical features of traditional and historic assets and their cultural and socio-economic value, when addressing disaster scenarios. The study highlighted the use of innovative financial incentives, including tax relief to address the lack of maintenance and remedial work which leads to deterioration and/or abandonment, and called for an evaluation of the potential economic loss caused by all forms of physical damage. It also highlighted the need for long- term support for pan-professional disaster training for experts in the built heritage field, covering the full range of relevant risks. Implementation requirements Regarding administration and managerial implementation requirements, the study recognised a need for an effective coordinating methodology that covers all eventualities relating to disaster and cultural heritage. Educational programmes were also required to combat the lack of public awareness of disaster management issues, and a need to train specific employees of relevant organisations to plan for and respond to disaster related incidents was flagged. The study also recommended that documentation relating to cultural heritage be digitised and made available as electronic archival reference materials, and that emergency measures be put in place to ensure the protection of valuable items be prioritised in the event of a disaster. The importance of monitoring possible vulnerabilities of cultural heritage was also highlighted to help prepare for and aid in the recovery of heritage items. Knowledge and research requirements The study identified a need for an inventory of cultural heritage assets that are pre-assessed as disaster endangered to help pre-empt the possibility of damage. It also highlighted a need for the development of a risk management strategy that looks at the consequences associated with the loss of heritage, along with an assessment of its values. It recommended putting in place an integrated methodology to help predict the impact of potential disasters on cultural heritage through collating and improving inspection and diagnostic observational data. The study also highlighted the importance of recognising and understanding the range of risk scenarios possible in urban historic centres, archaeological sites, and cultural landscapes, which can occur as a result of climate change related incidents and other potential threats. It flagged a need for developing an early warning system to effectively safeguard cultural heritage, and for appropriate quantitative design data codes and methods to be developed to repair damage and establish funding action priorities. The promotion of pre-planned analysis and preventive measures to develop a suitable strategy to protect cultural heritage against disaster is recommended, as is the development of strategies to raise awareness of the pre- and post-disaster event documentation to all related parties. Key lessons It was noted that the challenge of integrating cultural heritage within member states’ national disaster and risk reduction efforts suffered from: a lack of coordination and integration between and across the European, national and regional risk management policies and strategies; a lack of alignment in the responsibility chain from policy making to practical application; and the current low priority of cultural heritage in risk management planning. STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS To help overcome the issues outlined above, the European Commission report promoted an integrated approach to safeguarding cultural heritage from disaster in Europe. This aimed to address the problems surrounding the implementation, management and application of existing strategies, and to bridge the gaps in existing knowledge and policy by creating synergies between political, administrative and operational levels of disaster awareness, with the subsequent recommendations framed in accordance with Managing flood risk: A European Commission field trip under way in Krems, Austria, which was organised to assess the flood prevention scheme which protects heritage bordering this part of the River Danube.