After the great changes in Central and Eastern Europe in the last 30 years, the region has a legacy of many redundant industrial sites and buildings. The burden of this is well-known to all Visegrad countries: as a result of deindustrialization, once prosperous industrial sites and buildings lack a proper function that would benefit the local communities and the national economy, located in regions with high unemployment rates and disintegrating communities. Some Western European countries and the US have already experienced this phase and developed strategies to build on the economic and social potential of industrial heritage and to turn it into a transformative force.
The project will link experts from regions where heritage reuse has a long tradition with those from places where it is an emerging field, but a pressing issue too, such as the Visegrad countries, so as to identify the specific challenges and find new solutions by adapting already existing heritage strategies. Reusing industrial heritage is still an emerging discipline in our region, so there is a need for a multidisciplinary body of experts, including the field of heritage, who can recognize these opportunities and help industrial heritage to become a driver for economic development and community empowerment. The expert network & new knowledge generated by our project can be a resource for policymakers and developers focusing on industrial heritage. Our project addresses the gap between heritage specialists focusing on heritage assets, and urban planning policymakers and developers focusing on social and economic development.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.