Sustainable heritage management of WAterway REgions (SWARE)

The waterway regions involved in SWARE all share unique natural and cultural heritage: protected areas with rich biodiversity and a bunch of enticing historic cities and buildings connected to water. These amenities make them more and more attractive for leisure activities resulting in an ever growing number of visitors (30-50% increase in the past 10 years) which causes tensions with heritage conservation aspects. All SWARE partners recognize that the socioeconomic future of their regions is fundamentally depending on finding the synergies between preserving the cultural and natural values for the next generations and at the same time "opening their gates" with a controlled visitor management. By demonstrating the economic value that a "green" leisure industry can bring to a region, it can build strong public and political support both for heritage protection and sustainable valorisation thereof.

What SWARE strives for is achieving a better balance between protection and sustainable exploitation of the valuable natural and cultural resources through improving the development programmes and policies of the partner regions, based on the transfer of good practices of other participating regions. Partners share the common bottleneck of fragmented governance structures without proper cooperation forms, therefore SWARE will stimulate the establishment of new participatory governance schemes having a much better potential to implement efficient policies contributing to the sustainable regional development. As an overall result, decision makers, public and private players, as well as inhabitants will gain a better knowledge and commitment towards protecting and sustainably "using" their environmental and cultural assets.

This website reflects the author' s views only and the Interreg Europe programme authorities are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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