Small Towns Heritage

Small Towns Heritage

Czech Republic and central Italy

Task Leader: CUNI (CZ)

This pilot analyses the representations and (re-)valorisation of the small towns Cultural Heritage.

The pilot focuses in particular on Czech Republic and central Italy.

Small towns are a distinctive feature of the European settlement and are often per se part of CH: for their architecture, monuments, churches and any other form of CH in public places, as well as for intangible heritage linked to the territory. Despite this, they remain in the shadow of the big cities and metropolis.

Cultural policies based to big cities, shortage of resources, limited capacities and knowledge in small towns and peripheral regions are some of reasons for which this potential is still undervalued, not fully exploited, and often in danger due to lack of investment in conservation, natural disasters in less populated areas, impact of large infrastructural works (dams, tunnels, bridges, etc.).

The objectives of the pilot are:

  • to categorize the variety of representational strategies of multi-level value of small towns’ heritage, including intangible heritage and traditional economic practices,
  • to create links among heritage experts and other relevant stakeholders on national and transnational level with actors in local communities, regional bodies and cross border projects,
  • to highlight the overlooked and identify good and bad practices, and bottlenecks.

Specific activities

The pilot plans to:

  • map critically representational strategies of heritage, in departmental cities and in smaller towns
  • trace and list the use of city history presentation in museums, pageants, and festivals in small towns
  • register and compare and contrast small towns situation in heritage marketing and tourism
  • investigate the economic and cultural effects of traumatic natural disasters on small towns heritage (earthquake in central Italy)
  • interconnect into a common dialogue local and regional Actors
  • create an interactive map of small town activities, activists and best practices.


29 May 2019, Prague (Czech Republic). Small Towns Pilot in conference with the associate partner of Toulouse.

The title of the conference is "The commodification of nature and tradition desires in the tourist small towns since the end of the Eighteenth century (France and Spain). The heritage between nature, culture and policy". It is organized with the support of the European Regional Development Fund Project “Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World”. Cuni will bring its important contribution talking about Small Towns pilot

15 February 2019, Prague (Czech Republic). Small Towns Heritage Pilot- Regional meeting with associate partners.

"An-open-space" meeting to debate the development of the pilot, database of best practices and discuss topics came up on the seminar with Czechtourism and Anthropictures.

Read more

24 January 2019, Prague (Czech Republic). Seminar of the Small Towns Heritage Pilot with Czechtourism and Anthropictures, associate partners of REACH.

Main topics were:
- the ambivalent role of tourism: it can help and destroy the heritage at the same time;
- the strengths and weaknesses of bottom up participatory initiatives;
- the very different understanding of authenticity, which can be even invented by the members of the community, or local stakeholders;
- the problems in understanding what is the community in tourist business.

14-16 November 2018, Prague (Czech Republic). Workshop “Resilience of Heritage in Resilient Cities”

The Institute of Sociological Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, KREAS VP2WP3 “Adaptation in Historical Perspective” research team and REACH project will organize a 2 days workshop on "Resilience of Heritage in Resilient Cities”. Read more.
Further information: Call for Papers, Programme

24-25 May 2018, Prague (Czech Republic). Workshop “Diversity and Local Contexts: Adaptation and Heritage”
The Faculty of Social Sciences (Institute of Sociological Studies) and the Faculty of Arts (Institute of World History) of Charles University in cooperation with the Czech division of the UNESCO–MOST Program, organized a 2 days workshop on”Diversity and Local Contexts: Adaptation and Heritage”. Read more.
Further information: Poster , Programme.

  • 15 February 2018, Prague (Czech Republic). Small towns in promotion of its cultural heritage: possibilities and experiences.
    Charles University leader of the HORIZON 2020 REACH Project pilot on small towns heritage, promotes the first workshop with associated partners of Czech Republic. Read the outcomes of first workshop on small towns heritage pilot here. Further information:
    Poster of the workshop, programme of the workshop, presentation , report of workshop on Urban History Newsletter.