OpenHeritage aims at creating sustainable models of heritage asset management. The project puts the idea of inclusive governance of cultural heritage sites together with development of heritage communities at its center. This means empowering the community in the processes of adaptive reuse.
OpenHeritage works with an open definition of heritage, not limited to listed assets but also involving those buildings, complexes, and spaces that have a symbolic or practical significance for local or trans-local heritage communities. It starts from the assumption that abandoned or underused official and potential cultural heritage sites not only pose a significant challenges for the public and private sectors, but also represent major opportunities.
The inclusive governance model calls for the incorporation of stakeholder coalitions (e.g. community groups, NGOs, local government representatives, small businesses and universities) into such processes, the integration of resources and the exploration of innovative financial models. In doing so, the transformation of abandoned cultural heritage sites becomes an opportunity for increased community cohesion and social integration, the appearance of innovative bottom-up economic activities and the creation of employment possibilities.
The approach of OpenHeritage is built on the notion of openness, which is one of the key project attributes and reflected in the project title.