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Heritage Is Ours – Citizens Participating in Decision Making showcases inspiring practices and examples related to heritage participation from all around Europe.

The book can be seen as a dialogue between European heritage activists and specialists. The articles address questions such as: How can citizens influence decision making in a smart way? When is the right time to listen to people and how should this be done? Who should get involved? How should the identities and assets connected with a particular place be identified? Can conflicts involving heritage be avoided?

The book has been published as a contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, which is being celebrated and commemorated in Finland with a special focus on citizen participation.  The book is published in both print and online editions, with some articles also appearing online in Finnish. The book Heritage Is Ours is also available as an Issuu version in the account of Europa Nostra.

The book was presented in Helsinki on 12.3.2018 during a second seminar, Taking part in cultural heritage matters,  that focussed on the future of heritage participation.

“We need to work more on fostering citizen participation in heritage as a political act, an act that can build more faithful accounts of the past and form future social changes. For participation to be political and transformative, we need to treat citizens as political subjects, to provide space for different voices, learn about the multiplicity of historical layers and become critical towards uniform worldviews. Participating in heritage should act as a platform for rethinking current social positions, power structures, politics and economics and for articulating alternative ways towards constructing more democratic and just futures, commented Višnja Kisić, who chaired the discussion with Europa Nostra’s board member Astrid Weij.

The presentations of the publishing seminar have been published in the Youtube channel of Europa Nostra Finland.

The Forum Sharing Heritage – Citizens Participating in Decision Making, organised as part of the European Heritage Congress, was held in Turku in May 2017. The Forum focused on presenting cases where citizens have managed to influence the decision-making process successfully. Human rights aspects and cultural rights were also on the agenda. The book is based on the presentations given at that Forum, in that every speaker was asked to write an article on the theme. The book is, however, independent and its structure differs from that of the Forum.

Anna-Maija Halme
Tapani Mustonen
Jussi-Pekka Taavitsainen
Suzie Thomas
Astrid Weij

Graphic Design
Nalle Ritvola

Europa Nostra Finland, Helsinki 2018

ISBN 978-952-94-0180-2 (paperback)
ISBN 978-952-94-0181-9 (PDF)

Forssa Print 2018