Increasing the Resilience of Cultural Heritage to Climate Change Through the Application of a Learning Strategy

  • Elena Sesana
  • Chiara Bertolin
  • Arian Loli
  • Alexandre S. Gagnon
  • John HughesEmail author
  • Johanna Leissner
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 961)


There is growing concern about the threat posed by climate change to cultural heritage, notably to World Heritage properties. Climate change is triggering changes in rainfall patterns, humidity and temperature, as well as increasing exposure to severe weather events that can negatively impact on cultural heritage materials and structures by enhancing the mechanical, chemical and biological processes causing degradation. In response to this climate change challenge, the Climate for Culture (CfC) project, funded by the European Commission, investigated the impacts of climate change on the European cultural heritage through the use of a high-resolution regional climate model that projected future changes in climatic conditions, and simulated the future conditions of the interiors of historical buildings and their impacts on the collections they hold using building simulation tools. This paper compares the climate change impacts on cultural heritage identified by the CfC project with semi-structured interviews with experts working on cultural heritage preservation in Norway, Italy and the UK. Hence, the perceptions of the cultural heritage community on the impacts of climate change on heritage assets are first explored, which are then compared with the risk matrices produced by the CfC project as a decision-support tool to inform managers involved in the preservation of cultural heritage. In addition, the learning strategy underpinning examples of climate change adaptive measures applied to cultural heritage is discussed. Through the identification of the current learning strategy in the case study sites, this research highlights the lack of dissemination of the outcomes of scientific research to managers of cultural heritage in the context of adaptation to climate change impacts.


Resilience Adaptation Climate change Cultural heritage Learning strategies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computing, Engineering and Physical SciencesUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyUK
  2. 2.Department of Architecture and TechnologyNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  3. 3.School of Natural Sciences and PsychologyLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK
  4. 4.Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten ForschungMunichGermany

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