The tangible and intangible components of industrial heritage
form an essential part of European shared identity as they reflect
a rich historic interaction through the transfer of skills and expertise,
technology and processes across national boundaries.
However, the industrial heritage is highly vulnerable, most
often lost for lack of awareness, documentation, recognition or
protection, but also because of changing economic trends and difficult
environmental issues or due to its overwhelming size and complexity.
Public authorities should better understand and value the potential
of industrial heritage, which can become a key element for sustainable
territorial and socio-economic regeneration.
The report makes a number of practical recommendations to
national decision-makers with a view to ensuring that the legacy
of Europe’s Age of Industry is safeguarded for future generations.
At the European level, UNESCO and the European Union are invited
to engage with the Council of Europe in developing a European label
for the industrial heritage and to support the campaign of the European
Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage
(E-FAITH) for a European Industrial Heritage Year in 2015.