Our Place Our Future: Developing and testing an integrated climate risk framework for heritage sites in Scotland.
SummaryClimate change is not only threatening our future but destroying our past. Working with Historic Environment Scotland this project will examine the impacts to heritage sites in Scotland under future extreme climate risk scenarios.
The heritage sites of Scotland have significant historical and cultural value at all scales, from local to national and international. Yet the impact of increasing temperatures, rainfall levels, sea level rise and extreme weather events will damage and in some cases completely destroy these significant cultural assets.
Underpinning adaptation and disaster management is a comprehensive understanding of the risk landscape. Climate risk assessments have failed to incorporate significant relationships between communities, extreme weather hazards and assets of cultural and economic value. The sites managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) are not only fundamental to the UK’s tourism industry, but to community identity and attachment with ‘place’, and consequently resilience. Incorporating heritage sites and their value within risk assessment frameworks could lead to targeted risk-informed decision making for effective adaptation and conservation.
HES has recently taken a first step towards incorporating heritage sites within a climate risk assessment. Although this provides a baseline for discussion it does not attempt to model direct and indirect impacts to heritage sites and community under future climate scenarios.
This project will work in partnership with HES to develop heritage impact models for two heritage sites in Scotland. The research will focus on one rural and one urban heritage site, selected by HES. A key deliverable from the project will be a method that enables rapid modelling of the ‘heritage climate risk-scape’ in both contexts under current and future extreme hazard scenarios.
This research will contribute towards the development and application of a national scale integrated climate risk framework for HES. Research findings will support wider policy development and related programmes such as Climate Ready Scotland: Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024.
- Do existing risk modelling tools or platforms incorporate cultural heritage indicators for integrated climate risk mapping?
- What is the exposure of Scotland’s urban and rural heritage sites under future climate projections?
- How do the physical and cultural characteristics of Scotland’s heritage sites influence impact modelling for climate change?
- Can participatory GIS risk modelling techniques provide an effective approach for developing and testing cultural heritage risk modelling?
This student will carry out the following four phases of research in partnership with HES:
- 0-6 months: Critical analysis of existing risk modelling platforms and identification of climate hazard scenarios for each field site.
- Deliverable: Review of climate risk modelling tools and platforms including gaps and options for inclusion of cultural heritage indicators and scenario development.
- Deliverable: Identification and development of climate and weather hazard scenarios for field sites.
- 6-18 months: Co-identification and development of cultural indicators with key stakeholders.
- Deliverable: A set of indicators for cultural heritage value using Participatory GIS.
- Deliverable: Multi-stakeholder impact model development.
- 18–30 months: Integrated risk scenario development and testing.
- Deliverable: A set of climate risk scenarios for each field site.
- Deliverable: A scalable framework for integrated climate risk assessment for HES.
- 30-36 months: Thesis writing, delivery and completion.
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