Embedding engagement: participatory approaches to cultural heritage


This article presents the work of the REACH project and its contribution to the EYCH Initiative #9 ‘Heritage for All’. It reflects on the issue of participatory approaches to cultural heritage, focusing in particular on: 1) the REACH repository of good practices, a dataset comprising over 100 examples, European and extra European, of social participation in cultural heritage; 2) the REACH Participatory Framework, developed to provide a protocol of participatory procedures and to support the organisation of local encounters; 3) the future of heritage research, in the light of current discussions about the constitution of a new coordination structure for European heritage research.


Participation; good practice; cultural heritage; heritage research

Full Text:




Arnstein, S. (1969). A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35 (4), 216-224. Retrieved from

Colella, S. (2018). ‘Not a mere tangential outbreak’: gender, feminism and cultural heritage. Il Capitale Culturale, 18, 251-275. Retrieved from

Grahn, W., & Wilson, R. (Eds). (2018). Gender and Heritage: Performance, Places and Politics. Abingdon: Routledge.

Johnson. C.N. (2016). The Benefits of PDCA. Quality Progress, 49(1), 48.

Lync, B. (2011). Whose cake is it anyway? A collaborative investigation into engagement and participation in 12 museums and galleries in the UK. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Retrieved from

OMC Working Group (2018). Participatory Governance of Cultural Heritage. Report of the OMC working group of Member States’ experts. Luxemburg: Publication Office of the European Union. Retrieved from

Ridge, M. (Ed) (2014). Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage. Farnham: Ashgate

Roued-Cunliffe, H., & Copeland, A. (Eds) (2017). Participatory heritage. London: Facet Publising

Sacco, P. L. (2011). Culture 3.0: A new perspective for the EU 2014-2020 structural funding programme. EENC Paper.

Sciacchitano, E. (2018). Building the Legacy of the European year of Cultural heritage. DigitCult: Scientific Journal on Digital Cultures, 3(1), 25-30.

Smith, L. (2008). Heritage, Gender and Identity. In B. Graham, P. Howard (Eds.) The Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 159-178.

Vahtikari, T. (2019). Report on the Symposium Horizon for Heritage Research – Towards a Cluster on Cultural Heritage. Retrieved from

Wilcox, D. (1994). The Practical Guide to Effective Participation. Brighton: Delta Press.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Neil Forbes, Silvana Colella

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



SCIRES-IT, e-ISSN 2239-4303

Journal founded by Virginia Valzano