In order to facilitate sustainable exploitation of coastal areas Coastal regions of Agder have taken an initiative to develop municipal Heritage plans.
Many of the municipalities in Agder region have showed a limited interest in preserving and exploiting their cultural heritage through their line of responsibility. This had led to a limited focus on the use of heritage as a resource for development. This is particular a challenge for the cultural environments in the coastal zones of Agder. With 90% of the population living nearby the coast and Agder being one of the most popular regions for domestic tourism there is a huge pressure for exploitation of the seaside areas for housing and tourism purposes.
In order to improve involvement of local communities and stimulate sustainable management of heritage the National Directorate for Cultural Heritage has launched a national programme for local heritage plans.
With the support from the national programme many of the coastal municipalities (e.g. Arendal, Lindesnes, Farsund, Mandal) in the Agder region have taken the initiative to develop local heritage plans.
In many of the municipalities, local associations and volunteers participate in the different working groups giving inputs on the different chapters in the plan. With the support from the programme local associations or private persons can be payed by the municipality to do registrations of heritage assets.
Local heritage plans are a possibility for the municipalities to updater their current knowledge on heritage and revise their existing policies.
The actual costs for development of the plans varies with the municipalities. As a start initiative the Directorate supports the development of local heritage plans with economic support (15 000 EUR/100 000 NOK) and the county councils coordinate their work providing professional support.
Evidence of success
For many municipalities it's a work in progress and the implementation of the heritage plans will be done in cooperation with the county councils in the years to come. On a longer term it is expected that the heritage plans would lead to (i) an increased and less fragmented knowledge of status of local and regional heritage, and (ii) a more focused and strategic management of local heritage including revision of existing measures such as old zoning plans.
Heritage plans and community involvement are resource demanding processes.
Potential for learning or transfer
In order to use the full potential of heritage as a ressource for development one need to transgress the traditional notion of Heritage management. With community involvement the notion of Heritage somehow changes. In contrast with how the national authorities implements the Cultural Heritage Act the local heritage plans shows:
* No clear division between tangible and intangible;
* Heritage assets closer in time and space are valued as more important than distant;
* Local history is more important than national history;
* Heritage value is closely linked to the type of current use and lesser attention is given to « authenticity » and architectural features and design.
The Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act is implemented by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the county councils. The act mainly regulates material heritage through restrictions on historical building and archaeological sites based on an assessment of their value as scientific, cultural or architectural evidence
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