Project facts

Duration: 2018-05-01 - 2021-10-31
Project coordinator: Aalborg University
Project consortium: Aalborg University, Wageningen University; The Université de Bretagne Occidentale, University of the Highlands and Islands; Queen's Univerity Belfast; University of Aveiro; Scottish Association for Marine Science; National Heritage Board of Estonia; Syndicat Mixte for the management of the Regional Natural Park of the Gulf of Morbihan; Hellenic Fisheries Research Institute; York University
Funding bodies: EU H2020
Subject areas: Community involvement, Intangible Heritage, Policies, Sustainability, Tangible Heritage, Threats, Tourism, Underwater heritage
Contact: Alyne Delaney (
Budget: € 2 498 998,75


Coastal peoples’ cultural heritage tells a story of hundreds – even thousands–  of years of connections with their marine and coastal environments. This cultural heritage provides a sense of place, unity, and belonging to people; it connects people to each other and to the past and helps guide our future.

But coastal and maritime cultural heritage is at risk today from climate change, pollution, urbanisation, mass tourism, population decline in rural areas, the loss of traditional fishing fleets, neglect, and inconsistent policies of sea and shore conservation across European regions. PERICLES thus works to show the potentials and opportunities of Europe’s diverse cultural heritage, while protecting and preserving it for future generations.

Impacts & Results

The project focuses on better understanding tangible and intangible coastal and maritime cultural heritage in order to better preserve and utilise it.

PERICLES enables geographically balanced, interdisciplinary, mixed-method data gathering across key European maritime and coastal regions in six regional seas (Atlantic Ocean and Aegean, Baltic, Irish, Mediterranean, and Wadden Seas), that provides in-depth, situated knowledge on the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions.

We engage with a diverse array of coastal landscapes and seascapes, including urban, peri-urban and remote rural, mainland and island. This understanding extends to tangible cultural heritage such as lighthouses; castles and defense works; religious monuments; boats, docks, ports and boat yards (both (post)industrial and small-scale fishing); underwater heritage such as wrecks, artifacts and submerged landscapes; iconic coastal towns and villages and modern cultural heritage such as modern iconic buildings and works of art. It also extends to intangible cultural heritage in terms of practices, traditions and identities, capacities and skills.This understanding is effectively enabled and communicated through the publicly accessible online, mapping portal that incorporates data gathered by researchers, data layers sourced from agencies and stakeholders, and crowd sourced (citizen science) data.

Co-creation and co-designing are key notions, allowing a multitude of stakeholders to work together. Recognizing the value and richness of local and regional stakeholders and citizen voices, the project uses an engaged, participative approach to both data-gathering and the co-production of a sustainability framework that places local lives and livelihoods centrally in the cultural heritage of land- and seascapes.