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PERICLES was an EU-funded research and innovation project running from 2018-2021. PERICLES promoted sustainable, participatory governance of cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions through a unique interdisciplinary and geographically wide-ranging approach. The overall aim of the project was to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive framework to understand, preserve and utilize maritime cultural heritage for societal good. Cultural heritage provides a sense of place, unity, and belonging. Rooted in specific landscapes, seascapes, buildings, stories, traditions, language, and cultural practices, cultural heritage is a fundamental part of every society. It connects people to each other and to the past and helps guide the future.


Protection and advocacy for cultural heritage can strengthen identity and local society, thereby improving overall quality of life. Culture and heritage are essential in maintaining and building Europe’s economic, social, cultural and natural capital. Key for the success of the project was the application of a range of participatory, deliberative and action research methods from the social sciences and arts directly involving decision-makers, stakeholders and the public. Innovative aspects include an interactive, on-line, cultural heritage mapping portal, cross-cultural heritage stakeholder networks, and focus on providing evidence on how to link European coastal and maritime environmental policies with cultural ones.

PERICLES studied eight case regions across six European seas. These are the Aveiro lagoon on the central Portuguese coast (Atlantic Ocean)​; the North-east Aegean Sea and Malta (Mediterranean Sea)​; Scotland, Ireland & Northern Ireland (Atlantic Ocean/Irish Sea)​; The Wadden Sea​; South-west coast of Estonia and inshore coastal Denmark and Danish islands (Baltic Sea)​; Brittany (Atlantic Ocean). The purpose of the case region approach was to develop an in-depth understanding of multiple types of tangible and intangible maritime cultural heritage in each selected location, before opportunities for harnessing heritage assets for sustainable and inclusive developmet could be tested. The eight case regions are illustrated on the map below.






To learn more about the research project, visit the PERICLES website by clicking here.


To stay updated on the latest work and outputs of the PERICLES project, follow it on Twitter.


For more information on our work with PERICLES, please contact Dr. Welsey Flannery (

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