The rich reserve of cultural assets in Greece, Albania and North Macedonia has been argued to have a great potential in fostering sustainable development, through the creation and promotion of a unique common cultural identity. In all these areas there are found numerous sites classified as “Natural and Cultural” World Heritage Sites, which are connected by their common historical characteristics, but also common challenges. The condition of many of those sites of global importance is poor and further deteriorating, while they face numerous accessibility problems. Furthermore, the poor designation and preservation of the sites leaves limited opportunities for valorisation, which will enhance their potential to create sustainable economies around them.

Historic buildings of Corfu & Samos (Greece), Gjirokaster (Albania) and Ohrid (North Macedonia) have experienced huge damage, due to abandonment, interventions and/or lack of interest. Many of these buildings are in danger of collapse and are not accessible. At the same time Regional Authorities, residents and visitors don’t have access to information regarding the history, condition and the value of architectural heritage. The aim of this proposal is the development of a common strategic management platform for the building stock of settlements/regions in order to support the salvation, protection and presentation of their Cultural Heritage. In order to achieve this goal, the existing experience gained from implementing the Heritage Management e System (HER.M.e.S) will be drawn upon. HERMeS is recognized, in Europe and internationally, for its innovation, winning the prestigious European Prize for Cultural Heritage, the Europa Nostra Award, in 2015.

For the development of the platform, the historic buildings and monuments stock will be assessed and digitized. After this process, a decision-making tool (algorithm) will be applied in order to prioritize interventions and will produce common reports for the participating authorities. The system will operate on a unified platform for all countries referring to their most important historic heritage buildings in order to develop a connection among these buildings and to find common features of their cultural heritage, physiognomy and pathology. The data of the system will be open (without copyrights), accessible to the public in two languages (Local and English). The objectives are to provide information, support, transfer knowledge and raise awareness of citizens. Historic buildings will receive individual labelling in order to inform visitors about the project and the building. A specialized digital tour guide for the historic buildings will be developed so that the visitors can learn about the architectural heritage and be informed about the common features of all historic buildings. Finally, an educational online portal will be developed supporting teachers of all regions to use digital heritage tools in the classroom.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Development of a common innovative digital system for managing, protecting and promoting Cultural Heritage for the participating countries, with pilot implementations for Corfu, Samos, Gjirokaster and Ohrid settlements.
  • Improvement of each settlement’s capacity to promote and reuse its outstanding buildings.
  • Identification and promotion of the common cultural architectural heritage of Greece, Albania, North Macedonia.
  • Composition of a common plan at local and transboundary levels – for alternative thematic tourism in relation to the human environment (architectural tourism, tourism for schools).
  • Raising awareness of citizens in matters of protection and restoration of cultural heritage.
  • Development of educational tools for teachers and students in order to enhance cultural heritage courses.

Project Partners

Full nameAbbreviationCountry
Cyprus University of TechnologyCUTCyprus
Athena – Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication, and Knowledge TechnologiesATHENA RCGreece
Municipality of SamosMoSGreece
Municipality of CorfuMoCGreece
Municipality of OhridMoONorth Macedonia
Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and CultureELETGreece