Social Capital and Governance

Inclusive Access

Participation and Engagement

Social Cohesion

Partnerships and Cultural Cooperation

Good governance

Social Capital and Governance theme relates to the role that cultural heritage interventions can play in the creation of identity and sense of cohesion, thereby enhancing the social capital of people interacting with it.

The source of social capital stems from social, economic, and cultural structures that create power and status for certain individuals and not others.

It is manifested through benefits derived from social networks, and is an important asset for local development.

The Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (the Faro Convention, Council of Europe, 2005) and the Faro Convention Action Plan Handbook (2018-2019) highlight the social value of cultural heritage. 

The Faro Convention Network (FCN) builds upon the communities’ existing knowledge and experiences in heritage and cultural diversity to promote an idea of self-management where heritage communities are able to self-assess, self-monitor and self-evaluate their position against the Faro Convention principles and criteria. 

The community-based initiatives focus on: 

  • heritage governance; 
  • the role of heritage in addressing societal challenges; 
  • setting a framework for cooperation and inclusive policies. 

The European cultural heritage strategy for the 21st century (2018) defines the social component focusing on the relationship between heritage and societies, citizenship as well as the transmission and sharing of democratic values through participatory governance, and good governance through participatory management.

This theme is especially relevant in cases where there is an unequal access to institutional resources based on social barriers, such as class, gender, and ethnicity. It is grounded in theories of social reproduction and symbolic power that emphasise structural constraints. Therefore, in addition to physical access to cultural heritage, the active involvement of the local population in different phases of the intervention must also be ensured.

“The Italian narrative describes culture as an “oil field” to be exploited. This invites non-profit organizations to seek economic sustainability, in a sector that is more related to education and social inclusion. In other words, public investment would be needed, but with a new logic, proving that culture is not oil, but a mean by which inclusion and cohesion can be built. The attribution of value (Faro convention) enables increasingly indispensable civic skills, to work to expand participation, increasing impact and sustainability”.

Francesco Mannino

Officine Culturali

All cultural events that are held in the public space of the yards of the MuseumsQuartier (MQ) in Vienna are accessible for free. This is a prerequisite of any event taking place there. Together with the diverse nature of the cultural events happening (including readings, classical concerts, pop concerts, movies, etc.) the MQ Vienna by these means attempts to function as a low-threshold door-opener to arts and culture taking place in the institutions that are situated in the buildings at the MQ.

The Integrated Revitalization Plan of the Buzet Historic Town Centre (IBHRP) in Croatia is an interesting case in terms of participatory governance. Its elaboration included both employees of the town administration and the residents of the old town as well as the surrounding settlements. This points towards a high level of inclusion of the local population in the events and decision-making in the City. The residents assessed the participatory approach in the planning phase of the IBHRP as very positive.

Click on a theme to follow its story:

Social Capitaland Governance Identity of Place Quality of Life Education, Creativityand Innovation Work andProsperity Protection Domains