Project summary

WaVE is the project that seeks to utilize and revalue heritage on and around water. The partners thus not only want to preserve and further develop heritage and nature, but also expect side effects such as socio-economic growth and climate adaptation. WaVE stands for Water-linked heritage Valorization by developing an Ecosystemic approach. Together with various partners in Europe, we are looking at which policy instruments can be used to utilize heritage values in this way and what the effect of these policy strategies is.



The WaVE project focuses on the improvement of regional and local policies to open up their possibilities for supporting the development of integrated adaptive reuses of water-linked cultural heritage sites in human settlements. The focus is based on the partnership’s commonality of having a rich history of cultural heritage that has been formed through an interaction with water as well as the shared vision that the correct valorisation of these forms of heritage, building upon its combined (i.e. integrated) socio-economic and nature-based elements is crucial for these sites to become drivers for regional growth and nature preservation.


WaVe Partners share the common understanding, supported by the general consensus among European heritage value chain actors, that the focus on the integrated valorisation of water-linked cultural heritage is crucial and that it has not been outlined in its concreteness before. While local and regional policies and governance structures exist in partner regions that allow for the redevelopment of cultural heritage, there is a need to redefine the potentials of these policies to support integrated solutions that are able to unleash both socio-economic and nature-based values of water-linked cultural heritage sites. Moreover, as their integrated valorisation often affects both local and regional levels at the same time, the process needs to be tackled from both a local and regional perspective.


Through a joint work of interregional knowledge sharing, learning, transmitting good practices and engaging with local stakeholders, the Partnership will define Action Plans to tackle the subject-matter. The goal is to improve the overall support by the addressed policy instruments for integrated valorisation approaches of cultural heritage, to sparkle ideas for the creation of new projects aiming at integrated valorisation of water-linked cultural heritage, and to raise awareness for the subject at other cities and regions in Europe.


from 1 Aug 2019
to 31 Jul 2022

Environment and resource efficiency


Lead Partner

What policy instruments does the project address?

The Cooperation Agreement (CA) is an agreement between the Municipality of Breda and the Province of Noord-Brabant, to work together on the challenge of the Breda riverside heritage development plan (‘Breda Markstad’), with the objective to relate this challenge to key items of the urban agenda of Brabant. Breda Markstad is a city-level strategy focussing on the cross-sectoral and integrated redevelopment of the city’s historical centre, building upon the cultural and economic binding force of the Mark river. Through the CA the Municipality seeks to combine skills, knowledge and strengths of relevant stakeholders to redefine the strategy’s focus and wishes to place the ‘Breda Markstad’ strategy in a regional context, while the Province uses it as a methodological example to support its ‘Stedelijke Agenda Brabantstad’, focusing on the positioning of its 5 major cities (B5).


The CA is built around 5 themes, of which themes 1) economy (blending of functionalities for economic growth), 2) climate adaptation (efficient reuse of natural resources) and 3) social innovation (creation of a resilient social climate and life-quality) are the most relevant to define integrated valorisation approaches for heritage.


While the tool is considered to be the right tool to support urban redevelopment, it lacks focus in its definition on the manners by which the integrated valorisation of heritage can be realized, both at city level and in cooperation with the Province of Noord-Brabant.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Breda

The OP ERDF for the Valencian Community 2014-2020 has the main aim to boost economic growth in the Valencia region, as well as to contribute to the achievement of the EU 2020 targets for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth that includes the creation of jobs and the boost of regional productivity. The OP is divided into 5 thematic priorities (+ 1 TA).


The priority concerned by the WaVE project is Priority 6: Environment and resource efficiency, and more specifically the Investment Priorities that concretely impact the valorisation potentials of water-linked cultural heritage in the region. Firstly IP 6.3 that deals with the protection, promotion and development of cultural heritage, secondly IP 6.4 that deals with the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and thirdly PI 6.2 that deals with investment into the water sector.


As the OP is nearing the end of its life-cycle with 2020 coming nearer, its Managing Authority (MA) is working on additional funding opportunities to disperse the remaining OPs funds, focusing strongly on calls that support SMEs and mobility, leaving out opportunities for cities, cultural & natural heritage operators under the mentioned IPs for the recovery of water-linked cultural heritage sites that the Alicante Region is plentiful of, especially in their possibilities to valorise heritage on an integrated manner, covering both the natural and socio-economic values of these sites for the economic growth of the region.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Provincial Council of Alicante

The ROP ERDF Emilia-Romagna Region (2014-2020) has the main objective to boost innovation, improve regional systems of R&D and to contribute to achieving the EU 2020 targets for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the region. The OP is divided into 5 thematic priorities (+ 1 TA).


The Priority addressed within the project is Priority 5 that, next to a strong focus on the development of its tourism sector, aims for the protection and enhancement of the cultural, artistic and natural heritage in the region via usages that involve innovative technologies and add to the livability of the region. More specifically, the WaVE project will contribute to the betterment of the priority’s schemes that affect the territorially defined Coast, Po Delta and Cities of Art areas.


The enhancement processes the priority is able to create, related to cultural heritage, lack a distinct focus on the sustainable and integrated rehabilitation of the natural, cultural and economic values of cultural heritage, capitalizing especially on the innovation potentials of regional value chain actors active in the field of heritage, as is also described by the RIS3 of the Emilia-Romagna region. The priority needs to be improved so that it is more receptive to the valorisation of nature-based cultural heritage using innovative and technological approaches. The improvement would especially be welcomed in light of the large-scale redevelopment processes of the Darsena area in Ravenna.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Ravenna
  • CertiMaC

The main objective of the Interreg VA SK-HU programme is to contribute to the EU-2020 strategy and foster economic, social and territorial cohesion along the Hungarian - Slovakian border. One of the Programme’s aims is to support the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, making the Danube and Ipoly rivers, that form the physical border between Slovakia and Hungary, an important focus point.


The Programme consists of 5 Priority Axis (PAs), of which PA1: Nature & Culture, and specifically Investment Priority (IP) 1.1: conserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage, is the main focus for the WaVE project. The PA focuses on the improvement of cross-border cooperation related to the utilization and conservation of the endogenous natural and cultural potentials of the region, thereby to support sustainable growth of local economies and add to social cohesion in the region.


Although the programme includes support measures for the regeneration of the region’s natural and cultural heritage, it does not include a specific focus on the the integrated valorisation of cultural heritage that is historically interlinked with the Danube and Ipoly rivers, thereby missing out on the natural and socio-economic potentials held by these heritage sites in their ability to add to cross-border and economic growth of the region.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Ister-Granum European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation Ltd

The Cultural Heritage Report is the operational basis of the Municipal Plan 2017 for the City of Aarhus that focuses on the listing, administration and policy-making related to the valorisation of the city’s cultural heritage sites. The objective is to inform policy-makers and city planners on the values of so-called ‘cultural environments’, formed by the grouping of built heritage that transcends the level of individual buildings to create areas that reflect essential socio-economic and environmental functionalities, and by doing so influence decision making related to the urban transformation in the city of Aarhus. The Report addresses cultural environments following 7 specific themes.


Within the WaVE project, the Municipality seeks to address the themes ‘landscape of the industrial community and landscape’ and ‘urban environments’ that cover the majority of maritime and water-linked heritage environments in the city. As Aarhus is currently undergoing a rapid transformation process with its industrial docks heritage sites being one of the key economic and social redevelopment focus points, it becomes increasingly clear that the Report is lacking in its capabilities to effectively cover and reflect on water-linked built heritage in these areas, evoking the need to better align the Report with transformation processes in Aarhus and intrinsic values of these types of heritage, covering both urban, maritime and cultural functions.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Aarhus