Project Details

Title: Atelier European Fortresses - Powering Local Sustainable Development
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Cultural heritage and landscape

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €2,170,753.80
ERDF contribution: €1,687,719.85

Lead partner

Province of Utrecht/New Dutch Waterline
Postbus 80300
3500 TH, Utrecht

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Marieke Hekman
      Phone: 31302582204
      Fax: no fax anymore

Project summary

The historic environment of Europe is one of its greatest assets and an effective means of reconciling the needs of citizens, economy, community, environment, and society at large: But we cannot take it for granted! Our built heritage is valuable and vulnerable and securing its benefits now and in the future demands focussed action and investment from society, the heritage sector, and above all, the public authorities.

Aware of these possibilities and challenges, New Dutch Waterline proposed the AT FORT project outline to significant European fortified heritage sites who share the firm belief that preservation of these sites, coupled with their economic exploitation can only be achieved by creative, mutual thinking, building on an exchange of experiences.

AT FORT partners have set the OVERALL OBJECTIVE ‘to facilitate the adaptive re-use of fortified heritage sites by exploring solutions for successful approaches and methods to deal with enabling conditions and to create

better frameworks for their exploitation'.

Partners identified common fields of challenges that represent bottlenecks for the effective exploitation of these cultural values and defined 3 SUB-OBJECTIVES corresponding to the problem areas. They will work to:

1. Identify and further improve solutions and tools dealing with crucial enabling conditions of the adaptive re-use of fortified heritage sites

2. Identify and investigate the transferability potential of various existing redevelopment models for multifunctional use of fortified heritage sites

3. Elaborate effective (workable) governance models taking into account innovative PPP solutions, legal issues, models for branding

Objectives are accomplished by the integrated ”Conservation through development” approach, involvement of relevant stakeholders and capitalizing on partners’ experiences.

The OUTPUTS of At Fort ACTIONS will directly contribute to the achievement of these objectives through the following MAIN PROJECT RESULTS:

SELF ANALYSIS REPORTS reflecting the status quo and results achieved in each region


GOOD PRACTICE TRANSFER VISITS (Ateliers) exploring possibilities of transfers

A TOOLKIT, which is a collection of good strategies for the sustainable exploitation of fortified heritage sites

IMPLEMENTATION PLANS for each partner region, describing the future actions planned to ensure that benefits of the exchange are not lost.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS targeted to the local and regional level.


The At Fort PARTNERSHIP includes 11 partners, representing 7 old and 4 new MS. Partners are local and regional authorities, public bodies and knowledge institutes with experience in the field of cultural heritage and with capacity to ensure direct continuity of the project results.

Roles and task are distributed between the partners in a balan+A3155ced way, building on their existing experience and transferable know how, and exploiting complementarities in the best possible way.

Project achievements

The project At Fort ”Atelier European Fortresses Powering Local Sustainable Development” is a Regional Initiative Project in the INTERREG IVC PROGRAMME. The At Fort partners have set the overall objective to facilitate the adaptive reuse of fortified heritage sites by exploring solutions for successful approaches and methods to deal with enabling conditions and to create better frameworks for their exploitation. The

project At Fort is running on time and a lot of expertise is exchanged towards the reuse of fortifications. In total eleven ateliers were held in 2012 and 2013. The topics as had been selected at the start of the At Fort project proved to be the key issues of redevelopment of military heritage. This not only translated into high numbers of participants from the partnership, many experts and other people involved in this subject attended the Ateliers. After 3 years of the At Fort partnership, it has become an excelling group.

More and more other organisations and experts ask to benefit from the partnership.

The themes of the At Fort ateliers are: *Conservation and restoration *Governance *Accessibility & Safety *World Heritage nomination *Multifunctional use *Funding and financing *Landscaping, Maintenance, Spatial Planning *Communication and Marketing, Branding *Alternative Labour Force *Management plan *Sustainability. In November 2013 the last At Fort Atelier was held, the phase of exchanging best practices was concluded. The Ateliers have been a big success. In December 2013 the Integration Seminar was held. The partners used this seminar to exchange their ideas on the possibilities for implementing what has been learned. Not all expertise and good practices can be transferred to other projects. The different enabling conditions, governance models and opportunities for adaptive reuse on the partners' sites are a challenge.

The involvement of the partners in the At Fort partnership has grown tremendously during the project’s lifetime. The At fort partners are helping each other to realise the overall objective of the project. Other organisations involved in the redevelopment of military heritage , from outside the At Fort partnership, are benefitting more and more of the gathered knowledge as well. In Spring of 2014 the At Fort partnership was invited to Nysa (Poland) to share their experiences and help the local organisation to kickstart their redevelopment project. 2014 is used by the partners to make their implementations plans. This will be

a test whether the gathered knowledge is actually transferrable. In some cases partners invite the foreign experts to help them with their implementation plan, it’s a good example of transnational cooperation.

In June 2014 the partners shared the concepts of their implementation plans during a meeting in Komárom.

In October 2014 the final conference of the At Fort project was held in Suomenlinna, Helsinki. The project has established a vibrant transnational partnership of areas of military heritage dedicated to the transformation of redundant former military sites into zones of dynamic economic activity and community life. To safeguard and expand this succesful partnership, the 11 At Fort partners and 4 new partners (House of Culture Nysa – Poland, Utrecht Town Council – the Netherlands, 's-Hertogenbosch Town Council – the Netherlands, NGO Castellum - Estonia) have signed a 'Declaration of intent' for future cooperation. The project results were officially presented to the managing authorities of all 11 partners and Interreg. The policy recommendations were given some extra attention in order to make sure the gathered policy makers and authorities will implement the recommendations.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Province of Utrecht/New Dutch Waterline, Utrecht NETHERLANDS Utrecht 31302582204
City of Venice, Venice ITALY Veneto +
Network of Vauban’s major sites, Besançon cedex FRANCE Franche-Comté +33 (0)3 81 41 53 95
Department Spandau of Berlin (Citadel of Spandau), Berlin GERMANY Berlin + 49-30-354 944 264
Kaunas city municipal administration, Kaunas LITHUANIA Lietuva +370 37 422 914
Fort Monostor Military Cultural Center Non-profit Limited Liability Company for Restoration, Maintenance & Property Management (Short name: Fort Monostor Non-profit Ltd.), Komárom HUNGARY Kozep-Dunantul +36-34-540-582
Provincial Government of Antwerp, Antwerpen BELGIUM Prov. Antwerpen 0 (032) 3 240 66 57
Paola Heritage Foundation, Paola MALTA Malta oo356 21664066
The Governing Body of Suomenlinna, Helsinki FINLAND Etelä-Suomi +358-9-41323213
University of Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica (Pristava) SLOVENIA Zahodna Slovenija 390415299663
Medway Council, Chatham UNITED KINGDOM Kent 0044 (0) 1634 331176
Paola Local Council, Paola MALTA Malta 35621664066
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