Research
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The developed research programme was a key component that allowed the HOMEE project to describe and analyse wide-ranging impacts and relationships between mega-events and heritage. The key research questions driving the programme were:

  •  What are the main blind spots in our current understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage and mega-event policies? 
  • How do preservation and conservation policies deal with the threats and opportunities generated by mega-events in heritage-rich European cities? 
  • Do key stakeholders in charge of mega-events and preservation policies have relevant operational knowledge and planning tools at their disposal? How to improve such tools and who should be involved in these decision–making processes?


Research was carried out primarily within the European Capital of Culture Programme as well as one Expo and one UK City of Culture within Europe to better understand how different regions/cities and their communities first detect and eventually anticipate or respond to the challenges of heritage / mega-events connections and interactions.

The HOMEE research consortium comprises of four research teams based at the Politecnico di Milano, University of Hull, Neapolis University Pafos, and the International Cultural Centre in Krakow.

 

Phase I: Literature review of the main concepts and gaps

To provide the necessary background concepts and a critical framework for the analyses, the literature review was the first component to be carried out. The main area of analysis was existing literature - both academic research sources and policy documents as well as other studies related to heritage and mega-event activities. The main goal was to compare these two areas and their varying connections, dependencies and conflicts between them. Exploring these existing links was important to locate the abundant literature and longstanding debates in both mega-event and heritage fields on similar issues, but also a clear gap in research on the direct and indirect connections between them. This initial research helped to establish and confirm the need for the further work to be carried out during the HOMEE Project.

Click here to access the complete Literature Review of Mega-events Addressing Cultural Heritage Issues.

 

Phase II: 5 legacy oriented case-studies

Five case studies have been conducted across Europe in varying contexts but based on a shared research approach. The common analysis and reporting scheme led to the development of a clear, transparent report identifying the most important best practices and experiences along with the emerging threats to tangible and intangible heritage within the studied mega-events. The five cases are:


  • Genoa 2004 European Capital of Culture,
  • Milan Expo 2015,
  • Wrocław 2016 European Capital of Culture,
  • Hull 2017 UK City of Culture,
  • Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture.

The information and interpretations collected in the five case studies provide valuable insights for academics, experts and policy makers connected to these events to show the far-reaching impacts and potential for their events in historic contexts, particularly regarding the legacies of these events. The aim of the National Case Studies Report is to present a detailed analysis of each case as well as to highlight the key themes and overarching issues. Our report provides clear evidence regarding the importance of studying and improving policy making at the crossroads between mega-event planning and management and heritage policy.

Click here to access the complete publication titled Mega-events and heritage: The experience of five European cities.

 

Phase III: Studying the Matera-Basilicata 2019 ECoC as it unfolded

This HOMEE research report investigates the nexus between mega-events and heritage by observing the case of the Matera-Basilicata 2019 European Capital of Culture before and during the celebration. As the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, Matera represents in many ways a heritage-rich city and shows the complexity of this heritage / event relationship. The case of the Matera-Basilicata 2019 ECoC clearly demonstrates the significant impact that events like the ECoC can have on cities, even before carrying out the yearlong program – as occurred in Matera after it won the bid in 2014. While the mega-event planning and celebration undeniably contributed to improvements (in terms of accessibility, public spaces, etc.), the impressive heritage of the city was not widely integrated with the ECoC interventions and nonetheless absorbed most of the visitors’ attention.

Click here to access the complete report titled Urban heritage and mega-events: The case of Matera-Basilicata 2019 European Capital of Culture.

 

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