HeriStone- Sustainable Governance of Northern Stone Heritage

Publicerad: 11 januari 2016

Coordinator: Geological Survey of Norway (NGU)

Participants:

Natural Environment Research Council, as represented by its component institute the British Geological Survey (NERC/BGS)

The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK)

SINTEF Building and Infrastructure (Norway)

The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)

The Swedish Cement and Concrete Research Institute (CBI)

Foundation for the Museums in Sogn og Fjordane (MISF) (Norway)

Associated partners:

Swedish Stone Industries Federation (SFI)

Sør-Trøndelag County Authority (Norway)

National Board of Antiquities (Finland)

Finnish Natural Stone Association (Finland)

Summary

Under Nordmin funding, a project –“HeriStone- Sustainable Governance of Northern Stone Heritage”- has been planned and applied to the 3rd call of the Northern Periphery and Arctic program under axes 4 in November 2015.

It is witnessed that the Nordic stone industry, even having strong historical roots, has been declining due to changes in the labour market and the widespread adoption of cheaper imported building materials rather than the locally sourced, ignoring its important contribution to the character of the built environment in many communities and deleting the memory that the stone industries have created valuable and internationally recognized artisanal traditions for extracting, processing and using the material.

This results in: (i) the creation of abandoned quarry landscapes, with widespread loss of associated jobs, skills and knowledge; (ii) an ongoing dilution of cultural heritage as quarrying-related traditions disappear and stone buildings are repaired (or constructed) with imported stone and other materials; (iii) a growing cost to the environment as building materials are imported from ever-greater distances (e.g. China, Brazil, India).

The main problem that this project intends to address is lack of awareness amongst stakeholders of key issues relating to the history of natural stone extraction and use in remote communities, the gradual dilution and loss of income, knowledge, skills and cultural heritage that has accompanied the move towards other building materials and imported stone, and the significant economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits that could result in remote communities if stone extraction was to resume, or if alternative uses were found for disused quarries. This problem is common to all parts of the NPA area and HeriStone aims to turn this problem into an opportunity, by presenting knowledge and developing tools that can inspire and aid stakeholders in finding new solutions.

The project aims to build a platform that contains all the information, guidance and tools that local authorities, general public, SMEs and other stakeholders need to effectively and sustainably manage both the legacy and rejuvenation of local building stone industries and associated cultural heritage in the Nordic territory.