Implemented projects

“Zero-Impact Cultural Heritage Event Network" Project - ZEN

Financed by INTERREG IV C 

Type of intervention: Regional Initiative projects

Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention 

Sub-tem: Cultural heritage and landscape

Period of implementation: January 2012 – September 2014

Zero-impact cultural heritage Event Network – ZEN is a project aimed at developing a shared methodology to reduce the impact of events and festivals in historic centers and on cultural heritage through the exchange of significant experiences and lessons learned by the participating partners.

All over Europe, events and festivals have the ability to draw positive effects on tourism, cultural diversity and local economy but they also have critical impact on local environment.

А 2007 survey carried out by the University of  Buckinghamshire on behalf of A Greener Festival on 649 festival goers in Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands found out that 80% were concerned about noise, 82% thought waste had a negative impact, 84% were worried about the impact of travel and transport,  60% expressed concern about water and land damage.

Тhe main focus of ZEN is to work with different know-how and experiences to provide common solutions at EU level dealing with the reduction of these negative effects on urban settings of cultural and artistic significance and to provide a roadmap to manage and protect cultural heritage in occasion of open-air events with large numbers of people.

The findings of the project are transferred at policy level through the development of an implementation plan for each participating region, and by assuring: 


Еxchange of experiences and best practices among all project partners PPS, based on  individual  know-how and on  experience to be researched  in European regions and transferred to the PPs;

Development of a common approach at strategic level to manage the effects and impact of events on historic centres and cultural heritage;

Involvement of the local communities, both public and private stakeholders to share the project aims and to make local actors active participants in the process;

Diffusion of the project results: ZEN partnership consists of local and regional authorities, Universities and Business support centres involved with events and festivals in different ways, and that are often responsible for co-financing and guaranteeing public services. Their inputs are valuable  to address the common problems and the opportunities that arise from a future, ‘zero-impact’ approach to events and to interface with those communities who are the primary beneficiaries, but also the most affected by the effects of events in their territories


  • Sviluppumbria, Italy – Lead Partner
  • Municipality of Perugia, Italy – Partner 2
  • Municipality of Drama, Greece – Partner 3
  • Vilnius City Municipal Government Administration, Lithuania – Partner 4
  • Sigulda District Council, Latvia – Partner 5
  • University of East London, UK – Partner 6
  • Business Incubator – Gotse Delchev, Entrepreneurship Promotion Centre, Bulgaria – Partner 7
  • Development Centre Murska Sobota , Slovenia – Partner 8
  • North-East Regional Development Agency, Romania – Partner 9
  • Regional Government for Culture and Tourism // Autonomous Government of Extremadura , Spain – Partner 10
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands – Partner 11
  • Powys County council , Wells, UK – Partner 12

The main objective of the project is to find a shared approach to the management of cultural heritage and historic center in occasion of seasonal events, to reduce their impact on the local urban setting and contribute towards a more general 'zero impact' policy.


To contribute to a more general approach striving towards reducing the global impact of events on the environment;

To raise the competitiveness of Europe as a sustainable and attractive tourist and cultural destination.

Outputs: 5 transnational SC meetings of the partners; Manual of management procedures, 11 press releases; 4 400 brochures; 4 issues of project newsletter, 23 dissemination events in partners’ regions;  2 social pages; website; 1 training modules for social marketing and communication; Communication plan; 13 interregional events to exchange experiences, including meetings and study visits; ; 300 total participants to interregional events; 11 regional/local policies addressed in the field of impact reducing; 11 implementation plans produced; Report on good practices on zero-impact events; Report on recognition of PP experience; Position paper on the reduction of impact on historical centers;  11 local meetings; 5 500 handbooks for local communities.

Results: 22 articles about ZEN on local media; 500 total participants in dissemination events; 6 000 total visits on ZEN website; 4 000 posts on social pages created; 20 participants from PPs in training modules on social network and marketing; 60 staff members from PPs with increased capacities in dealing with methodologies of impact reducing during events in historical centers; 1 good practice on zero-impact events transferred; 6 regional/local policies improved; 12 local government representatives involved in projects activities and contents..

As Europe is rich in many cultural, music and art events the project provided a useful contribution to the adoption of policies for the protection of cultural heritage well beyond the territorial relevance of the current partnership, thus creates added-value at EU-wide level


ZEN project web-site 

More information about INTERREG IVC

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