Dear Friends of the SoPHIA project,
After two years of working together, 32 deliverables, 2 conferences, 2 online workshops, 12 newsletters, countless email exchanges and (in-person and online) meetings among the Consortium and its AB members and stakeholders, on December 31st, the SoPHIA project has officially ended.
The premises at the beginning of the SoPHIA project were not favorable due the difficult historical context and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, on the contrary, the awareness on the importance of culture in our daily life have risen during the lockdowns, proving and confirming the importance of investing in this field, as retrieved in the early 00s’ trends. In fact, in recent years, Administrations at all levels have begun to acknowledge that CH has a substantial role in sustaining economic development, strengthening citizenship, reinforcing international cooperation, and several areas of sustainable development. This recognition resulted in a unprecedent inclusion of culture in the creation of policy and strategic development planning.
The SoPHIA Consortium aimed at contributes to this new perspective by providing tools for evaluating the impact and quality of interventions in European historical environment and CH.
During these two years, we had worked hard to ensure that all the outcomes of the projects were interconnected to produce a solid innovative framework on holistic impact assessment and to support the EU’s future actions in this field. Among these:
- SoPHIA model provides a full account of the multidimensional areas of impacts related to CH interventions, in order to overcome the traditional single-domain approach and to develop a holistic and cross-cutting approach.
- SoPHIA toolkit serves as a “manual” for various actors working in the CH sector to assess the holistic footprint and success of heritage projects in different contexts.
- The four policy briefs address relevant issues related to the implementation of SoPHIA model in order to provide clear recommendations for policy makers.
- SoPHIA’s guidelines for an action plan on the EU future action proposes recommendations for the development of impact assessment processes for all future CH projects funded by European (national or local) programs or policies.
- SoPHIA’s future needs and research agenda claims for an extensive testing of the SoPHIA model in order to verifying its applicability and focuses on different topics on CH Impact assessment that need to be further analyzed.
Among these, and all available on the website.
These outcomes are the results of the joint effort made by the Consortium and the project’s ABs and stakeholders.
One of the main aims of the SoPHIA project was to create a community of practitioners. Thus, seeing a wide and diverse community of experts, academics, and practitioners working together for two years towards the implementation of a joint and innovative project had been one of the most fulfilling results of the project.
We believe that December 31st constituted both a finish line and a starting point. On one side, it officially concluded the SoPHIA project. On the other, it marked the beginning of a new challenging phase for preserving, disseminating, and implementing the outcomes retrieved during the last two years through future joint initiatives and new research opportunities.
On behalf of the SoPHIA Consortium, I wish to express my gratitude to all the people had supported and participated to our project. Nothing of this would have been possible without their valuable work.
We hope that what we achieved together with SoPHIA project may play a role in the implementation of future EU actions in the fields of impact assessment and to serve as a useful contribution for addressing (old and new) challenges that may arise.
Professor Michela Marchiori, Roma Tre