Heritage Impact Assessments

Various conflict cases in and around UNESCO World Heritage properties in recent years have shown that in addition to the customary instruments employed in the European Union, such as Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), supplementary tools are needed to evaluate transformations in UNESCO World Heritage properties and their environment. Experience shows that challenges arise in particular due to large-scale projects such as transport and traffic infrastructure, high-rise buildings or new energy supply systems.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee and its advisory bodies increasingly require Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) to evaluate impacts of such plans on the Outstanding Universal Value, authenticity and integrity of UNESCO World Heritage properties. Heritage Impact Assessments are also applied to elaborate recommendations which aim to minimize negative impacts on World Heritage properties and to stimulate positive effects respectively. HIAs are also suitable for supporting planning processes in culturally sensitive environments. These ensure that compatibility with the requirements of the UNESCO World Heritage can already be tested and guaranteed during the conceptual phase of such planning processes.

We have more than 10 years of experience in compiling HIAs and we provide professional support in compliance with the ICOMOS Guidance for Heritage Impact Assessments in Germany and abroad.