The “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” project aims to present persuasive arguments for convincing policy- and decision-makers of the impact and multiple benefits of investing in European cultural heritage. In order to achieve this goal, a broad mapping procedure has been implemented beginning in February 2014 to collect evidence-based research conducted in the European Union Member States on the social, economic, cultural and environmental impact of immovable cultural heritage.

Thanks to the gathered texts and gaps identified in the research, it will be possible to develop two sets of recommendations. The first will concern the methods on how data collection can be managed in the future so that trends are established, indicators are updated annually, and change is measured over time. The second set will be done in the form of recommendations to influence policy at the European, national and local levels on the impact of cultural heritage.

The project’s methodology includes three stages of mapping existing research – done on macro (global), meso (European) and micro (countries and case studies) levels. The first stage covers a review of theoretic literature on the impact of heritage and indicators (both qualitative and quantitative) employed to measure it. This will allow the consortium to identify the main fields of impact, which will be divided into four domains: social, economic, environmental and cultural. Based on a further literature review, each identified impact domain can be elaborated with more developed sub domains. This will lead to the creation of a cultural heritage impact matrix. This matrix will present in detail the complex potential of cultural heritage and its influence in social, economic, cultural and environmental contexts.

In the second stage of the project, a consortium composed of two research teams (RLICC at KU Leuven and the International Cultural Centre in Krakow) and a number of confirmed experts will categorise and map European studies and impact analyses gathered according the impact matrix.

The third and final stage will focus on particular case studies with a more in-depth analysis of given examples.

The project’s final report will be based on the identified fields of heritage’s impact, accompanied by case studies. The report, to be published in June 2015, will also include policy recommendations and suggestions for further research needs that will have been developed by the research teams and the Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe Steering Committee.

You too can contribute to the mapping of evidence!

If you, your organisation or university has case study evidence, heritage impact analyses, European projects, and European, national, regional and local research and reports covering the multiple benefits of cultural heritage you are kindly invited to contribute to the Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe project’s mapping of evidence through the online form available here: