A few years ago now Engage was invited by our WHS friends in Hamburg to be the conduit for the city of Liverpool to participate in the largest ever research programme to develop programmes for supporting historic areas through the challenges of climate change.

We have taken part in all their meetings throughout the Covid pandemic using zoom to connect everyone in the many European cities who are involved in the process. So has Liverpool City Council. It would be fair to say that we have far fewer officers working in this area than any of the other cities we were in touch with and the one or two people working in this area have hardly any resources to draw upon. So we are not in any sense leaders in this work

If there was to be any serious engagement with this subject then it seems to Engage that there needs to be greater involvement from our universities sector. And that is one reason why we are publishing this ARCH Newsletter  so that hopefully word will reach our interested academics. Also this is very much open to the general public and we know that there are some in Liverpool who will be interested in this area of engagement.

This issue has suddenly assumed much greater significance with published reports on Friday 4th March 2022 stating that the UK is not prepared for the impacts of climate change. One of the experts specifically picks out coastal areas as being especially vulnerable. Engage is aware of just how much more our European friends are prepared and engaged with this subject. The links below show the extent to which work is on-going in Europe to address the climate crisis particularly in relation to heritage in this case.

For further European ARCH information click on the following links:

UPDATE: 28.04.2022


“Social and Institutional capacities for resilience: from the assessment to the strategy”

26th – 27th April 2022 Hamburg


Liverpool took part in this workshop through the presence of the Chair of Engage who represented the city amongst the different European cities taking part. The invitation-only event involved Hamburg as the Core City and Regensburg, Thessaloniki and Liverpool. The meeting was held in the Heritage Preservation Department’s Restoration Workshop which was a great setting. We were based of course in Hamburg’s UNESCO WHS area known as the “Speicherstadt” Warehouse District which you can watch here on this video:

The meeting was organised by ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) known also as Local Governments for Sustainability, is an international non-governmental organisation that promotes sustainable development. ICLEI provides technical consulting to local governments to meet sustainability objectives and I have to say that the work they have done with the ARCH project is outstanding. They have produced, with others, a comprehensive set of documents and tools that will assist all cities in managing the challenges posed by climate change to the historic and heritage assets of Europe. You can access many of them via the links in the article above. Learn more about ICLEI in the video below:

The objectives of the workshop were:

  • To follow-up on the discussions from the previous 4 workshops
  • To learn from Hamburg’s experience on heritage resilience, by visiting its ARCH case study: the Speicherstadt District
  • To further explore one of the already presented ARCH tools: the ARCH Resilience Assessment Dashboard (RAD)
  • To discuss concrete resilience strategies in a World Heritage context
  • To present the ARCH Resilience Measures Inventory (RMI), with particular reference to social and institutional measures

All of this was achieved over the course of the workshop. One of the main ways of understanding the ARCH tools was the role play in the ‘ARCHTOPIA’ game which was really fascinating and illuminating. Lots of insights and comments were shared which will help the final design of the game whose main aim was to assess the resilience of the social and institutional capacity of a city using a multi-stakeholder scenario. It was also lots of fun! The game had two parts with the second part aimed at choosing the best local strategy for resilience – which demanded a lot of compromise and collaboration. This concluded with a session looking at the social and institutional strategies selected according to the interest and urban characteristics of the cluster. The game had been put together by the leading Spanish technology company Tecnalia based in the Basque country: