Heritage Conference aims at establishing a state of the art event regarding the relationships between forms and kinds of heritage and the framework of sustainable development concepts. The four dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economics, society and culture) are the pillars of this event, defining a singular approach on how to deal with the specific subject of heritage sustainability. Furthermore, beyond the traditional aspects of heritage preservation and safeguarding, the relevance and significance of the sustainable development concept is to be discussed and scrutinised by some of the most eminent worldwide experts.
Heritage is no longer considered as a mere memory or a cultural reference, or even a place or an object: heritage is moving towards broader and wider scenarios, where it becomes often the driven forces for commerce, business, leisure and politics. During recent years, specialised research has remarkably expressed that sustainable development is being brought much forward than the concept expressed in the book “Our Common Future”, commonly known as “The Brundtland Report”. The role of culture and social aspects enlarged the initial statement where environment and economics had the main role. The environmentalist approach (conceiving the world as a whole ecological system) enhanced the idea of a globalized world, where different geographic dimensions of actions, both local and global, emerged as the main relationships between producers, consumers and cultural specificities of peoples, philosophies and religions. In such a global context heritage became one of the key aspects for the enlargement of sustainable development concepts. Heritage is often seen through its cultural definition. However, sustainable development brings heritage concepts to another dimension, as it establishes profound relationships with economics, environment, and social aspects.
Nowadays, heritage preservation and safeguarding is facing new and complex problems. Degradation of Heritage sites is not any more just a result of materials ageing or environmental actions. Factors such as global and local pollution, climate change, poverty, religion, tourism, commodification, ideologies and war (among others) are now in the cutting edge for the emerging of new approaches, concerns and visions about heritage.