Tools for the protection of cultural and historical heritage in the Sava River Basin

On 19 January 2021, the International Sava River Basin Commission and UNESCO, with the support of other SHELTER project partners, held successfully online the Sava Open Lab Third Stakeholder workshop. Under the guidance of the SHELTER team, 28 stakeholders from 6 Member States, discussed the results and next steps of the research undertaken within the project. The workshop discussed the several tools for cultural and historical heritage in the Sava River Basin and essential future needs of the SHELTER project. With the participation of the stakeholders, the selected resilience indicators and factsheets for the Sava open lab were also presented during the workshop.

The International Sava River Basin Commission - ISRBC, jointly with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and 8 different project partners, organized the third Open Lab workshop in the framework of the EU Horizon SHELTER (Sustainable Historic Environments hoListic reconstruction through Technological Enhancement and community-based Resilience) project.

The one-day workshop, which consisted of 4 consecutive sessions, brought together representatives from 5 Members States of the ISRBC (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia) as well as Albanian representatives. Experts including management authorities, cultural heritage authorities, flood management operators and emergency responders, reviewed the SHELTER project progress on the flood risk management towards cultural and natural heritage within the Sava River basin.

Project task members presented to stakeholders the main accomplishments of the last 4 months of work: 1) the development of a methodology for collecting and storing cultural heritage data at risk in the Sava River basin; 2) the establishment of a project-based Task Group composed of national experts; 3) the finalisation of a first cycle of cultural heritage data collection (with engagement of the Task Group and relevant institutions) and the improvement of the Sava River basin Geographical Information System (GIS) system through a new server for storing collected data.

For the first time, the participants had access to the SHELTER Wiki tool, a platform aimed at providing a common space to share core definitions and materials related to resilience and sustainable reconstruction of historic areas. The platform, comprising 67 terms with definitions in English and other Open Labs languages (Italian, Dutch, Spanish, and many more), is complemented by graphic icons.

Additionally, the Data Lake tool, designed to store all the heterogeneous data collected and produced by the project, was presented during the workshop. The tool will give users the possibility to search using filter, providing a fast and systematic way to retrieve data. The project partners are also working on other tools such as the Multi-source data model, Methodology for characterization of cultural heritage, Co-design playbook, and Portfolio of local solutions and strategies for flooding.

The participants, within a co-creation exercise, participated in a survey to define the relative importance of the above-mentioned tools. The event closed off with a review of the next steps in the project’s development such as the support of national data collection on cultural and historical heritage, and how to extend expert engagement.