HeRe_Lab: a joint heritage research lab for the management of the World Heritage property of Florence, Italy

DIDA Comunication Lab
Publié: 17 septembre 2021
Dernière modification: 17 septembre 2021
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HeRe_Lab - Heritage Research Lab is a joint laboratory established in 2015 between the University of Florence (Departments of Architecture; Economics and Management; and History, Archeology, Geography, Fine and Performing Arts) and the Municipality of Florence (‘Florence World Heritage and relations with UNESCO’ Office). Its mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of the city through actions and solutions in harmony with the protection, conservation and enhancement of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage site ‘Historic Centre of Florence’. Considered a good practice within the World Heritage system both on a national and international level, HeRe_Lab creates and implements initiatives in line with the WH Convention and the Management Plan of the ‘Historic Centre of Florence’ with a multidisciplinary team made up of heritage professionals, architects, urban planners, art historians, economists, geomatics and developers. 


Europe de l’Ouest et du Sud
Échelle de la mise en œuvre
Area-wide development
Buildings and facilities
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Espaces verts (parcs, jardins, forêt urbaine)
Écosystème agricole
Écosystème urbain
Acteurs locaux
Cadre juridique et politique
Réduction des risques de catastrophes
Science et recherche
Sensibilisation et communications
World Heritage
Non classé
Flood management
Health and human wellbeing
cities and infrastructure
infrastructure maintenance
land management
sustainable livelihood
urban planning
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
City management, governance and finance
Resilience and disaster risk management
Territorial and spatial development
Manque d'accès au financement à long terme
Changements dans le contexte socio-culturel
Manque de capacités techniques
Manque de sensibilisation du public et des décideurs
Objectifs de Développement Durable
ODD 3 - Bonne santé et bien-être
ODD 4 - Éducation de qualité
ODD 8 - Travail décent er croissance économique
ODD 11 - Villes et communautés durables
ODD 13 - Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
ODD 16 - Paix, justice et institutions efficaces
ODD 17 - Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs
Obectifs d'Aichi
Objectif 4: Production et consommation durables
Objectif 8: Pollution réduite
Objectif 19: Partage de l'information et de la connaissance
Objectif 20: Mobiliser toutes les ressources disponibles
Cadre d'action de Sendai
7: Améliorer nettement, d’ici à 2030, l’accès des populations aux dispositifs d’alerte rapide multirisque et aux informations et évaluations relatives aux risques de catastrophe.


Florence, Italy


HeRe_Lab addresses social and economic challenges affecting the management of the World Heritage site ‘Historic Centre of Florence’.


Social challenges

  • Lack of an adequate governance system for the management the site
  • Identifying and bringing together a structured team of professionals with interdisciplinary backgrounds
  • Raising awareness of the significance of the site and its Outstanding Universal Value amongst different target groups (both at a local, national and international levels)
  • Lack of site-specific, ad hoc studies and data to inform and guide management actions

Economic challenges

  • Fundraising for the implementation and delivery of management and conservation actions, through a vast array of instruments and entities (i.e. calls for applications, funds and tenders; national and international funding; local institutions and foundations)


  • Citizens of Florence (both residents and city users)
  • Stakeholders operating in the historic centre
  • National and international community
  • Scholars and researchers
  • Policy-makers
  • Visitors

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

This solution presents a structured strategy that has enabled the creation of a multidisciplinary Lab to respond to challenges related to the management of the World Heritage property. The shared model of governance (BB1) is at the core of the Lab and it formalised the joint partnership between the University of Florence and the Municipality of Florence. After the establishment of the partnership, the Lab was created engaging a team of multidisciplinary professionals  working across different faculties and municipal departments (BB2). The involvement of emerging heritage professionals (BB3) ensured the implementation of practice-based research methodologies (BB4) that successfully guided management efforts and responded to practical needs.

Finally, the positive outcomes deriving from the interactions of the different building blocks and the activities have resulted in the expansion of the scope of action through additional formalised partnerships between the Lab and other municipalities and regional agencies in charge of managing World Heritage properties in Tuscany. Overall, the good practices applied in this solution have ensured a multiplier effect that can be replicated in other regions of Italy and the rest of the world.

Les impacts positifs

Social impacts

  • Pioneering example of inter-institutional cooperation between academia and the administrative sector for the management of the site
  • Involvement of emerging professionals in the World Heritage arena, encouraging youth development in a field that is still not yet structured in Italy
  • Establishment of a multi- and interdisciplinary lab gathering professionals with diverse backgrounds, fostering holistic approaches
  • Organisation of capacity building activities
  • Studies and analyses on the World Heritage site, including its carrying capacity, identification and monitoring of values and attributes, Heritage Impact Assessment, as well as the coordination and the development of the Management Plan

Economic impacts

Economic support and employment opportunities for emerging professionals, and fundraising through a variety of projects and calls for the organisation of projects aimed at the conservation and management of the World Heritage site


Environmental impacts

The lab aims to contribute to the sustainable management and regeneration of green urban areas, with a focus on those connecting the property  and its buffer zone, in line with the HUL approach. This is achieved through:

  • an enhanced understanding of the different variety of green areas (such as parks, gardens, historic gardens, cloisters, urban gardens, green itineraries, etc.)

  • the advocacy for their requalification

Contribué par

Carlo Francini Florence World Heritage and Relations with UNESCO Office

Soumise par

University of Florence
University of Florence