Sustainable strategies for heritage; towards a holistic valuation framework

Tineke van der Schoor, Jacek Józekowski

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    Cultural heritage buildings and sites are threatened by the effects of climate change, especially in coastal zones. Risks not only include floods and submersion, but also less visible risks such as effects of moisture levels or, alternatively, drought. At the same time, it is important to involve people in the care of heritage buildings and sites, to stimulate them to cherish, admire, and to enrich their lives with the heritage locations, buildings and stories.
    This paper aims to contribute to our knowledge on the application of valuation approaches. The topic of heritage and sustainability calls for an approach that encompasses a broad range of values.
    Theoretically, this paper relies on the approach of ‘Design for Values’. This approach starts with the identification of the values that are aspired to in a design project. These values are connected to norms, which describe how the identified value can be reached. On a more technical or concrete level, requirements are noted down, which specify the precise conditions a design must fulfill. In this way, a ‘value hierarchy’ can be outlined, which forms a guide for the designing process. In a value hierarchy, the levels are connected in two ways: downward by ‘specification’, and upwards, by the phrase ‘for the sake of’. After the design is finalized, a verification step is needed to ascertain if the aspired values indeed have been achieved in the design.
    The empirical case study for this paper is provided by the investigations of the Wisloujcsie Fortress and surrounding area at the SOS-workshop in Gdansk in October 2022. In our investigation of the site several problems and challenges came to light, which we summarized in a SWOT-analysis. For sustainable development of the area and the conservation of cultural and natural heritage we identified values connected to heritage, water, public access, and social values, see figure 1. In the paper, we will further elaborate on the norms and requirements that follow from each of these values. Also, we want to reflect on a preliminary verification step.
    We conclude that to produce designs that successfully achieve the climate and sustainability goals of the SOS-Climate Waterfront project, a ‘model valuation framework’ could be a useful guide for the design process. The first elements of such a framework are presented in our paper. Applying such a valuation framework stimulates ethical reflection during the design process and evaluation of the result. It thereby strengthens the connections between sustainability goals and urban design.
    Translated title of the contributionDuurzame strategieën voor erfgoed; naar een holistisch waarderingsraamwerk
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSOS Climate Change Waterfronts
    EditorsPedro Ressano Garcia
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusSubmitted - 10 Feb 2023


    • climate
    • waterfronts
    • sustainability
    • urban development
    • energy
    • heritage


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