Partners

New Dutch Waterline, The Netherlands

Lead Partner: New Dutch Waterline / Government Service for Land and Water management

The Dutch Ministries of Culture, Housing and Environment, Agriculture and Transport issued the policy document “Nota Belvedere” which involves cultural history during land-use planning in the Netherlands. To show how cultural history can be integrated in spatial design, the government has launched the New Dutch Waterline (NDW) as a national project organisation, aiming for developing the waterline and its fortified heritage sites as one entity. Since then NDW has gained a great deal of experience in renovation, modernisation and revitalisation of fortified heritage sites (10 in total). However, they see further unexploited potential for redevelopment, and through this, socio-economic prosperity, which NDW aims to tackle in an interregional context.
Projectoffice New Dutch Waterline is responsible for the coordination of 200 implementation projects to redevelop the New Dutch Water Defence Line. Projects are mainly focused on restauration of the fortresses, giving new function , implementing cycle and walking routes, sign systems and product development for tourism by the entrepeneurs and is running now for 10 years.
The projectoffice is also involved in various international programmas.
The aim with the international projects is to : 

More info: www.hollandsewaterlinie.nl
 

History

Because large parts of the Netherlands are below sea level, the Dutch have been fighting the water for as long as we can remember. However, water isn’t the only enemy of our country. In times of war water became a welcome ally and the nation’s best line of defence. The Dutch caused intentional inundation using Holland's biggest secret weapon: the Dutch Waterline. In contrast to the 1672 Old Waterline, the new one (from 1885) was never fully inundated. After World War II the Waterline no longer played a prominent role and was quietly forgotten. The Line was established as a

 protective ring approximately 85 km long and 3–5 km wide around the Dutch cities of Muiden, Utrecht, Vreeswijk and Gorinchem.

More information:www.hollandsewaterlinie.nl

Projectbureau Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie
t.a.v. Peter Ros
Postbus 406 3500 AK Utrecht
P.G.M.Ros@minlnv.nl
+31 652401597

Labels: Fortress, New Dutch Waterline

Forte Marghera, Venice, Italy

Fortified heritage sites are significant assets for cultural heritage and local identity; thus an active role of local authorities in the valorisation, planning & management of these sites is extremely necessary. Consequently, the Municipality of Venice became the owner of 7 out of the 12 forts of the “Entrenched Camp” (2003). In 2004, Municipality of Venice has appointed Marco Polo System as subsidiary company for the ordinary maintenance of the fort areas, as well as for the elaboration of policy recommendations and to implement them at local level.

Working closely with Marco Polo System, Municipality of Venice gained a strong relationship not only with the so-called “Arco Latino“ area (Spain, France and Portugal), but also with the other Central and Eastern European countries, as well as with the Mediterranean ones, where it develops experiences and activities linked to forts recovery.

More info: www.comune.venezia.it

Marco Polo System geie
To: Mr Daniele Sferra
San Marco 2662
30124 Venice - ITALY
daniele_sferra@yahoo.it
+39 41 5319706
+39 331 6920577


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Forte Marghera, Venice, Italy


Labels: Fortress, Italy

Vauban Fortresses, France

Network of Vauban’s major sites

The Vauban Network consists of 12 local communities, public bodies, and it is nominated by UNESCO as “good practice example” for the development of management plans related to the fortified heritage sites of the Network members (methodology, coordination and implementation activities). The French government is currently selling historical and cultural assets to local public authorities and private investors, which raises two important challenges: huge financial burden on small local authorities (maintenance and conservation) and the condition under which World heritage assets can be handed over to private owners.
The French government legislation appoints the Vauban Network members (municipalities and their local councils), as responsible for generating and implementing the local policies as well as for approving the management plans with regard to conservation, protection and redevelopment of the 12 network sites. 
 
More info: www.sites-vauban.org
 

Fortifications of outstanding universal value

This worldwide recognition encourages the Vauban Network and its twelve member sites to behave in an exemplary manner. All of them share today’s challenges: encouraging popular reappropriation of this recently recognized heritage, integrating contemporary architecture and functionalities, reconsidering their accessibility and developing their economic potential.

Though different in size, shape, and geographical setting, each site aims at sustainable local development based on this fortified heritage.

Sharing good practices and taking advantage of each other’s knowledge and experience is part of the day to day activities at each Vauban site. To this end, the on-line resource centre of the Vauban Network provides a wide range of useful information including reference documents, an illustrated glossary, a specialist database, operational tools, a forum for exchange and management plans of the twelve Vauban sites.

In daily management of these 17th century citadels, fortified towns, fortresses and coastal towers*, important questions arise such as: How to deal in an ecological way with vegetation and landscape? Which measures can be taken in order to create a low risk environment for visitors while respecting historical and architectural values? How can we reinforce the relationship between a city’s fortifications and its recent urban areas? which successful multifunctional development models can be tailor made? Which governance systems are the most appropriate?

*citadel and urban walls of Besançon, mountain fortifications of Briançon, the mountain stronghold of Mont-Dauphin built from scratch, the transformed medieval city of Villefranche-de-Conflent, the mountain stronghold of Mont-Louis, the fortified triptych of Blaye/Cussac-Fort-Médoc protecting the Gironde estuary, the insular fortifications of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, the seaside tower of Camaret-sur-Mer, the coastal observation posts of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, the Arras citadel, the new town of Longwy, the apotheosis of Vauban’s system in Neuf-Brisach

More information: www.sites-vauban.org

Relevant links: sites-vauban.org/Resource-center

Réseau des sites majeurs de Vauban
To: Marieke Steenbergen
2, rue Mégevand
25034 Besançon cedex
France
marieke.steenbergen@besancon.fr
+33 (0)3 81 41 53 95


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Vauban Fortresses, France



Citadel of Spandau, Germany

Department Spandau of Berlin (Citadel of Spandau)

 
There are several fortified heritage sites in the borough Spandau of Berlin, such as Fort Hahneberg, Spandau Citadel and some redoubts.
It is very much desired that the Spandau Citadel will become an official partner of the Tourism office of Berlin. In order to achieve this, several pre-conditions have to be fulfilled (accessibility and innovative branding), in order for Spandau to become a driving force of the regional economy.
 
CAPACITIES to influence: The Spandau Citadel is directly responsible and involved in the management, exploitation and maintenance of the fortified heritage sites, aiming to be recognized as an “island of history” of City of Berlin. The Municipality of Berlin owns the Citadel; therefore it is directly involved by local authority in the design and implementation of local policies regarding the identification of new economic functions, their exploitation and maintenance.
The Spandau Citadel has significant experience in the harmonised of utilisations of fortified sites with respect to nature, environment and preservation of cultural assets, experience that will be shared with the partners. Their model of “Green Museum” can be transferable to other partners (utilisation of energy efficiency without compromising the integrity of buildings; hosting exhibitions with special focus on the indoor temperature and humidity), as well as their know-how on valorisation and branding concepts.
 
More info: www.zitadelle-spandau.de


History

ATFORT Citadel SpandauIn 1560 work began on Citadel Spandau, a modern fortress in the „New Italian Manner“ replacing the former castle, whose origins date back to Slavic times. Citadel Spandau is the best preserved renaissance fortress in northern Europe and is now used exclusively for cultural purposes and recreational and leisure activities.
 
Today the citadel houses several exhibition spaces, a concert hall with magnificent acoustics, and among other things a collection of guns through the last 500 years and a unique group of medieval Jewish gravestones. There are Ateliers for the Arts and Crafts and the big courtyard is a place for Knights and Medieval Festivals and Open-air-Concerts that attract artist of worldwide renown like Bob Dylan, Nigel Kennedy, Norah Jones and Lou Reed drawing up to 10000 visitors per concert. Excavations, which show the origins of the castle, are presented in situ in the western curtain. They are a cornerstone for the realisation of a new concept of Citadel Spandau as „Island of History“.
 
Currently the most demanding project is the preservation and restoration of two buildings of the Citadel and the preparation of the exhibition “Reveal. Monuments in Berlin”, which will be opened in March 2014. House 8, the „Proviantmagazin“, a former store-room for provisions, will become a permanent place for „political“ monuments, which were once distinctive across the Berlin cityscape, but were removed and stored or even buried in the forest. The contest for this exhibition was won by Staab Architekten, the budget is 14 Mio €, from Lotto and EFRE.

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Citadel of Spandau


Label: Fortress

Fortresses of Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas city municipal administration

Kaunas City used to be one of the largest military fortresses in Lithuania. The redevelopment and exploitation of fortified heritage sites is a priority on local and on national level as well. Development and adaptation of these sites to the needs of the local community in the context of 21st century would restore and protect the cultural assets, revive the present territory and would contribute to economic growth.   
By participating in several European funded projects, the Municipality of Kaunas has experience in visualising possible scenarios for identification of new economic functions and establishment of PPP constructions. Kaunas can also bring into At Fort its significant experience gained throughout the implementation of various European funded projects.
The Lithuanian partner will benefit from other experiences on how to use renewable energy sources when re-developing fortified heritage sites, as well as from good practices in innovative redevelopment techniques, a field in which Western European countries have advanced expertise.

More info: www.kaunas.lt


History

 
Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania, located in the very centre of the country on the confluence
 of the two largest Lithuanian rivers: the Nemunas and the Neris, surrounded by the green hills. The city is the centre of Kaunas region as well. The crossing of the main water and overland routes was the original motivation for the growth of the city.
The history of Kaunas Fortress dates back to the end of the XIX century when Lithuania was under the occupation of the tsarist Russian Empire. The period was marked by a number of wars in Europe and the union of Germany and Austria-Hungary forced many neighbours to reconsider their political situation. Russia needed to fortify its western frontiers. Due to the convenient geographical location Russian officials decided to construct a fortress in Kaunas as an obstacle to prevent the military attacks from the West with further incursions towards Riga and Vilnius. The natural advantages of the city convinced the Russian Tsar Alexander II to ratify the plan of Kaunas Fortress covering an area of 25 sq. km in 1880.
Kaunas Fortress is a system of the defensive fortifications of polygonal type built in Kaunas and its environs during the period of 1882–1915. The construction was carried out in several stages by Russian military engineer units and hired construction specialists from various Russian provinces. First, a defence circle consisting of 7 forts, 9 batteries, and central fortifications was built between 1882–1907. The construction of administrative buildings in the city centre, the reconstruction and refinement of fortifications were executed later. The plan of the second defence circle (65 sq. km) was confirmed by the Russian Tsar Nicolay II in 1912 and involved all the latest military engineering and construction achievements of the period, replacing bricks with concrete, but its construction was interrupted by World War I in 1915.
 
During World War I, the complex was the largest defensive structure in the Russian Empire occupying 65 km2 (25 sq mi). The Fortress was battle-tested in 1915 when Germany attacked the Russian Empire. Kaunas Fortress withstood the assault of the German Army for eleven days before it was captured. After World War I, the military importance of the Fortress declined as the advances in weaponry rendered it increasingly obsolete. It was used by various civil institutions and as a garrison.
 
The Lithuanian researcher of architectural heritage Jūratė Tutlytė noted in the foreword to the photo album Walking around Kaunas fortress by the famous Kaunas photographer Gintaras Česonis: “Rules and needs of the military fortress, which conditioned Kaunas life for a third of the century (1882–1915), formed a peculiar defensive system bearing an exceptional historic, urbanistic and cultural significance today. The fortifications have left a clear stamp on the entire Kaunas city, its planned, volumetric and spatial composition. The most emphatic architectural ensembles have become important accents in volumetric and spatial arrangement of the town. From above the forts, batteries, elements and segments of the central fortress, which are rather complicated to be overlooked and reflected in the context of town structure, picturesque perspectives of Kaunas landscape open. The walls tell the stories of several periods: at the beginning of the 20th century, Kaunas surrounded by nine forts became a first-class fortress; after the First World War, having lost their strategic importance, the forts were desolated for a long time. Later they served regenerative army of the Republic of Lithuania. During the Second World War some forts became prisons and death camps. In Soviet times, the forts functioned as military bases, the majority of which were liquidated after the army had moved out. Today Kaunas fortress has not found its place in the life of the city except for single artistic actions; it has not been adapted to new cultural, recreational or tourist activities. Although desolated and decaying, Kaunas fortress is still one of the largest and best preserved objects of the kind in Eastern Europe and calls for reflection on its potential in new times of the town.” (Ed. Tutlytė, J. Pasivaikščiojimai po Kauno tvirtovę. Walking around Kaunas fortress. Gintaras Česonis. Kaunas: Meno tvirtovė, 2007. p. 2.)
Source: Pociūnas, A. Kauno tvirtovės gynyba 1915 metais. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2008.
 
Kaunas 6th fort
The 6th fort is situated in the eastern part of Kaunas city, on the right bank of the Nemunas River, on the upper terrace of the river valley. This fort belongs to the first circle of Kaunas Fortress and presents a typical example of the fortification techniques of the time. The construction of the 6th fort was carried out from 1883 to 1889.
 
The fort is regular hexagon with an asymmetric framework. Its front is directed towards the northeast. The fort consists of a garrison, bombproof shelters, powder-magazines and other defensive buildings, which are partly covered with earth and connected via the complex system of tunnels, corridors and ventilation channels. The architecture of the 6th fort buildings could be attributed to brick and historical style.
 
The condition of most building constructions is satisfactory, however some parts are in a bad condition. The fort’s inner area is overgrown with weeds, bushes and trees. The fosses are semi-filled with water due to the damaged drainage systems. There is neither electricity nor other functioning infrastructure available at the site.
 
After World War I, the 6th fort was used as a prison by the newly established Lithuanian State. During World War II the fort was transformed into a concentration camp. In 1941–1944 it was used by the German Army, and in 1944–1948 – by the Soviet army.in 1944–1948 – by the Soviet army.
 
In the Soviet Era the fort served for military purposes. The garrison and some other buildings were transformed into garages and warehouses. Since the final withdrawal of the Russian Army from Lithuania in 1993, the fort has not been used.
 
The 6th fort is surrounded by the dwelling boroughs which are regularly built on together with the fire-floor dwelling houses containing elements of the perimetric building. The dwelling territories do not come close to the fort and leave some space which helps to perceive it better visually. In this way it is more memorable. The surrounding buildings are regular enough, although higher than the fort, but this creates some conditions of visual focus. The fort is not as dominant in its environment as the 2nd or 1st forts, nevertheless, it is still understood as a certain contrast to the surrounding environment. When the suitable function is found, the understanding of this contrast with the semantic potential of the object will simply grow. It has to be stressed that in regard to the semantic potential the 6th fort competes with the close warehouse that looks similar by its architectural forms and with the redoubt complex in K. Baršausko Street. However, the fort wins in this competition due to its more expressive architecture and close transport network. The fort, as well as the other forts, is associated with other objects of defensive system while a good access makes it a sufficiently important element of the structure that secures the unity of the city view-text.
During the last ten years Kaunas City Municipal Administration began to look for ways of adopting the abandoned forts for the needs of the city. Several years ago the Municipality and two universities of Kaunas participated in the EU INTERREG III B project Baltic Fort Route. The project offered ways of utilising the forts for cultural purposes and developed their renovation plans.
developed their renovation plans.
The 6th fort is a pilot object of Kaunas City Municipal Administration in the project AT FORT.

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Fortresses of Kaunas


Label: Fortress

Fort Monostor

Fort Monostor Nonprofit Company (PP6) Hungary

There are 4 fortified heritage sites in Hungary, and 3 of them are situated in Komárom. These forts are elements of the huge trans-boundary World Heritage Nominated “Fortress System at the confluence of river Danube and Vah in Komárom/Komarno”, and have special importance for local identity and a great potential for future regional development (the System of Komárom is a top-attraction for culture and leisure activities). There are a number of challenges that local authorities face when striving for the exploitation of this potential.  Other European heritage sites also encounter these challenges, such as lack of innovative valorisation tools or restoration techniques.
Since 2000 the Fort Monostor Non-profit organization is responsible for the management of the Fort (running programmes related to the revitalization and the re-development of the Fort). Fort Monostor Nonprofit Ltd. is working closely with the Hungarian State Holding Company (MNV Zrt.), county of Komárom-Esztergom and the Municipality of Komárom, making policy recommendations and contributing to the elaboration of the Regional Development Plan of the Trans-Danubian Region and of the Integrated Development Strategy of the City of Komárom.
Fort Monostor is eager to share with the At Fort partners its 10-year experience in the maintenance and operation of three forts of Komárom, and its knowledge gained in finding possibilities for new economic functions (events and festivals).  
More info: www.fort-monostor.hu
 

History

The system of historic forts is situated in and around the “twin” towns of Komárom, Hungary, and Komárno, Slovakia on opposite banks of the Danube River in Central-Europe. Even taken individually the forts on both sides are genuine historic and cultural treasures, representing the highest level of military architecture of their time, and having survived unaltered since the beginning of the 20th century. These forts, and their predecessors have been built and rebuilt over the centuries, but their current forms show the most skilled building techniques and styles from the second half of the 19th century (1852-1890).

Three large forts of the fortress system are situated in Hungary (Fort Monostor, Fort Igmánd and Fort Csillag) comprise one of Hungary’s outstanding national monuments. The fortresses of Komárom served the generations of soldiers in the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and the Hungarian Army for a century, and functioned as the secret arsenal of the Soviet army from 1945 to 1991.The fortress system was not used for defence purposes, and was untouched by war. Protecting the traces of the past, these walls disclose the values of architecture and military history.

Today the forts offer visitors permanent and seasonal exhibitions, theatre evenings, guided tours, a conference centre and cultural events inspired by their historic traditions.

For Monostor Nonprofit Limited Liability Company is a site-management group. The company’s main target is to develop the fortresses on a sustainable way, to create a Military Cultural Centre.

Fort Monostor, Fort Igmánd and Fort Csillag are candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

More information: www.fort-monostor.hu
 


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Fort Monostor


Labels: Fortress, Hungary

Antwerp National Reduit, Belgium

Provincial Government of Antwerp

On the administrative territory of the Province of Antwerp there are numerous heritage buildings (approximate 3000), offering the province a considerable cultural position at the national level. The Province is the most relevant partner at the regional level to stimulate, support and assist local authorities whilst developing policies in the field of cultural heritage. The redevelopment of fortified heritage sites and new economic functions are issues on local, regional and national political agendas in Belgium, as these sites need to be equipped with new functions to insure their sustainability.
The Province of Antwerp is a regional government, which works together with the Flemish government, the Belgian federal government and local municipalities. The province defines regional policies and it takes policy decisions on the regional level.
The fortified heritage sites are both a regional and local issue, in which the province organizes the process in close collaboration with the local authorities and the Flemish government.
The Province brings into the partnership its experience in developing the “Fortifications of Antwerp” Master Plan, representing a cooperation of different stakeholders in this field (private owners, local community, regional level, different associations). This could be a good practice to be transferred to the other partners; besides there are currently 4 sites being in redevelopment process, which can be shown as concrete examples. The PPP experience with privately owned forts can also be shared within the partnership. 
 
More info: www.provant.be


History

Fortress Antwerp was a defensive belt of fortifications built in two rings to defend Antwerp. Antwerp was designated to be a national reduit (Réduit national (French) or De versterkte stelling Antwerpen (Dutch)) in case Belgium was attacked. It was built in the period 1859–1914. In total it encompasses a belt of fortifications of 95 km.

Provincie Antwerpen
Departement Ruimtelijke Ordening en Mobiliteit
t.a.v. Karen Gysen
Koningin Elisabethlei 22
2018 Antwerpen
België
karen.gysen@admin.provant.be
+32 472 50 02 32


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Antwerp National Reduit Gallery



Paola, Malta

Paola Heritage Foundation

Corradino Lines represents a complex of fortified heritage sites that are part of the World Heritage Tentative List of Harbour Fortifications for the Maltese Islands. Paola Heritage Foundation (PHF) is directly involved in the management and daily activities of running the sites of Corradino Lines and it aims to revitalize and provide the sites with new economic functions giving a boost to local economy, while preserving their cultural values. 
Its broader goals are to transfer the economic benefits of the new economic functions into the sustainable management of the Corradino Lines and to transform the Paola area as a dynamic node from redundant space it into viable and manageable assets.
Paola Heritage Foundation is pleased to bring into the partnership and share with the other partners its experience on setting up heritage management and conservation management plans. Besides, the foundation has know-how on adapting the fortified heritage sites to new economic functions (for example the old prison has been turned into a hostel) and planning for further regeneration, all through a harmonized manner, taking into account the heritage values.
 
More info: www.malta.icom.museum

History

The Corradino Lines is a low defensive line was constructed by the British Royal Engineers in 1871-72 on the Corradino Heights.
The project targets the restoration, rehabilitation and management of this system of fortifications. The management regime is based on a triple-helix system where the main systems of intervention are based on; Education and Training, Tourism and Culture and Industry and Redevelopment. Developed on a system of atelier, the project is targeting the implementation and integration of other projects which fall within the REPAIR Paola Action Plan. This plan focuses on the interconnectivity of the fortifications with other critical heritage assets in the town of Paola through a heritage trail which was launched in 2011 and the KONNEKT project, which is a green corridor connecting these assets to the main square through semi-pedestrianisation and alternative modes of transport.

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Paola, Malta


Label: Fortress

Suomenlinna, Finland

The Governing Body of Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna sea fortification consists of 7 islands, 80ha and 200 buildings, administrated by Finnish Army until 1973, when the Governing Body of Suomenlinna was founded to replace it. A Master Plan was published in 1975, aiming to conserve Suomenlinna through an active reuse in accordance with a continuous restoration of structures and landscape. Since then local authorities have always included Suomenlinna in their development plans.
The Governing Body (under the Ministry of Education and Culture management) is appointed to carry out activities related to governance, administration, maintenance and restoration of its land and buildings. It contributes to the drafting of plans and setting the yearly agenda, approved in a yearly-bases by a board chaired by Ministry of Education and Culture. Governing Body’s board has members of 4 ministries, City of Helsinki, National Board of Antiquities, inhabitants of Suomenlinna and Governing Body’s employees.
It has influence in the field of fortified heritage both on a national and Nordic level (national fortification forum and Nordic fortification network) and through a project gathering 3 sites in Baltic Sea region (Karlskrona, Kronstadt and Suomenlinna). It is leading a management plan-cooperation between 7 Finnish World heritage sites and participates actively in Nordic World heritage gatherings.
The Governing Body would like to share within the partnership its know-how on management and long term planning of maintenance, restoration, reuse & development of an 18th century state owned fortress in Suomenlinna (world heritage site since 1991) in close cooperation with the municipality of Helsinki, the National board of Antiquities and Helsinki Open prison.
 
More info: www.suomenlinna.fi

History

Finland-Limewash-restoration-sitecrownwork-SuomenlinnaThe project of Suomenlinna is the preservation
 of an 18th century fortress through a heterogeneous reuse. The goal is to maintain as much as possible all the historical layers but at the same time to assume that the site has a contemporary life and a future. The project started in 1973 when the army moved away and the responsibility of the site was then given to a Governing Body depending on the Ministry of Education and Culture.Suomenlinna is situated in front of the city of Helsinki, at a distance of 15 minutes by ferry (public transport). The site (80 ha) consists of seven islands, 200 buildings, 900 inhabitants, 350 permanent working places and 700 000 visitors per year, half of them being Helsinki inhabitants. There is no entrance fee.
 
Since 40 years, the conservation, restoration, renovations and repair works have followed a master plan that is revised every year. About 80 bigger projects and hundreds of small ones have seen the daylight. Caponiers and barraques from Swedish and Russian era have been renovated to modern standard homes, curtain walls to kindergartens, traverses to cantinas; a dockyard is maintained in its original use. 
 
Suomenlinna is a national and international monument (a world heritage site since 1991), a place to live in, a place to work for, a place where you have many reasons to go. It is a public place with private life inside. The State owns the land and 90% of the buildings, but the site remains a part of the city of Helsinki. The city and the Governing Body share the responsibility for the infrastructure and landscape.

Photo Aereal view: Photo by  Ikuvaari Oy / Osmo Roivanen

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Suomenlinna, Finland


Label: Fortress

Medway

Medway Council

 
Kent and Medway have a vast array of defensive heritage sites, including a potential World Heritage Site  (Chatham Dockyard and its defence line) and an overwhelming number of individual and ring fortifications, covering a variety of periods, and affected by a range of issues - such as decaying fabric, fragmented ownership, lack of economic purpose, limited community involvement and ecological concerns.
Medway Council is a local government authority, directly responsible for drafting and developing local policies.
The Council is willing to share with the other At Fort partners its expertise in managing the fortified heritage sites
 
More info: www.medway.gov.uk 


UK

Kent and Medway have a vast array of defensive heritage sites, including a potential World Heritage Site (Chatham Dockyard and its Defences) and an overwhelming number of individual and ring fortifications, covering a variety of periods, and affected by a range of issues - such as decaying fabric, fragmented ownership, lack of economic purpose, limited community involvement and ecological concerns.
 
Different approaches have been taken to tackle some of these issues. Fort Amherst Heritage Trust use various volunteer groups for grounds maintenance, as tour guides and to operate the café facility. Medway Council has taken the approach of turning the defensive lines protecting Chatham Dockyard into a metropolitan park and community facility. New uniting boundary treatments and footpaths encourage the use of the park as a commuter corridor between the town centres of Chatham and Gillingham, and between local schools and colleges. Feature lighting has helped local people and tourists better understand their heritage, and the parkland grounds of Fort Amherst have recently become free-to-enter. New signage and interpretation has helped complete phase one of the transformation, although the overall project is estimated to take 20 - 30 years.
 
Kent County Council is acting as an associate partner with Medway Council in At Fort, and represents in particular Dover Western Heights, thelargest complex of forts and batteries in the UK, joined by ramparts and ditches, and currently on the English Heritage "at risk register". The site faces a range of challenges, including multiple ownership and a need for significant investment.
  
More information:
www.chathamworldheritage.org.uk

www.fortamherst.com

www.thedockyard.co.uk

University of Nova Gorica

The University Nova Gorica (UNG) has launched its post-graduate programme “Economics and Techniques for the Conservation of the Architectural and Environmental Heritage” for the 6th time this year. This master is focusing on buildings and historic site management, dealing with topics such as cultural landscape and historic urban landscape. In the area of Nova Gorica there are fortified heritage sites dating back to the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Recently the Venetian lagoon, where the University is carrying out courses. UNG’s scientific results serve as important baselines and key information for regional and national authorities for the design of strategies and policies affecting this field.
As a knowledge institute, UNG will bring into the partnership its know-how on research and study methods, bringing their input into the self-analysis phase (research), the roundtables of the theme groups, and the methodology of the IPs. It will also play a supervisory (quality control) role during the design of IPs. The UNG as knowledge provider and scientific expert is a real added value for the partnership also in the phase of drafting and finalizing the (local/regional and EU) policy recommendations.
 
More info: http://www.ung.si

"The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers."
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