Strategic Plan for the Integrated Management of Architectural Heritage

Line of research, action

Technological innovations in the field of built-up heritage management.

Project abstract

The main objective of the Strategic Plan (SP) is to set guidelines for the Cultural Heritage Department of the Basque Government for the next three years (2011-2013), redesigning and updating the management of Architectural Cultural Heritage (ACH). The Plan provides a road map that includes feedback and that is structured into four stages:

  1. The first stage should focus on analysing the current situation concerning the management of ACH in the Basque Autonomous Region, using participatory formulas to analyse the needs related to the management of Cultural Heritage and how these needs are covered (or not). This analysis will provide a first approximation to the lines of improvement that should be addressed in the strategic and tactical definition of the SP.
  2. In parallel, comparative benchmarking will be addressed using a number of experiences in ACH issues developed in different regions, which may contribute improvements to the management of heritage sites in the Basque Autonomous Region. Combined with the unmet needs identified above, and using creative techniques in group sessions, the basis will be established for defining action standards and protocols and the modernization of heritage databases.
  3. The third phase will focus, based on the contributions of the two previous phases and allowing for a strategic and tactical approach, in designing the conceptual tools for the management of ACH. The main objective is to establish standard assessment and protection protocols for all ACH sites, integrating them into an expert system as defined in the fourth stage. Clearly, this is a complicated, conceptually sensitive issue and requires thorough research and reflection. However, it is a “conditio sine qua non” because it will affect the protection of Heritage sites when explaining and justifying to the public the reason for the decisions made by the administration, which should not be seen as random and/or arbitrary. It also serves to standardise action protocols above individual and subjective criteria. In order to assess (and correct if necessary) possible inefficiencies in the development of the project, the study will provide an in-depth and representative pilot case. The new standards and protocols defined and their digital implementation will be applied and tested, adapting the parameters needed for a final adjustment of the entire procedure.
  4. Finally, the digital support will be developed for the correct exploitation of the concepts and ideas defined in phase 3. This digital support will be provided with intelligence, enabling it to receive feedback from with new cases and “refine” the assessment and conservation criteria based on new experiences.


In execution