Safeguarding Cultural Heritage

The cultural works of humanity have always been threatened not only by the ravages of nature, but also by our own interventions. The city environment is a repository of cultural heritage (historic buildings, monuments, archeological sites, cultural landscapes) that conveys different meanings to different groups of people and these meanings are important for the growth of the city and therefore sustainable development. The safeguarding of cultural heritage is especially relevant for cities exposed to hazardous sources because these hazards can severely damage or destroy the heritage and deprive the cities from their identities. But what are the perceptions of and attitudes of the citizens to this heritage and can these be defined by suitable indicators and quantified with measures and thus serve as important elements for building resilient and sustainable cities? Can the cultural heritage of cities be protected and at what cost from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding, tsunami, tourists, terrorism, climate change? And what exactly is the definition of cultural heritage and how to decide its relevance to society? In this session these issues should be discussed and concrete examples of experiences presented where the natural and anthropogenic hazards play significant roles in determining strategies for safeguarding the cultural heritage of cities.