Course on Urban Heritage Strategies: The Economic Value of Heritage

Activity: Talk and presentationProfessional or public presentationProfessional


This lecture investigates the economic value of cultural heritage. The costs of cultural heritage (e.g. maintenance) are relatively easy to identify and often large while the benefits of cultural heritage are difficult to identify and quantify in monetary terms. Cultural heritage is difficult to value because of its broad and fuzzy definition, its highly heterogeneous valuation, and its indirect effects.
In the past decades, there have been many academic methods developed to value cultural heritage and I will discuss a few academic methods which are mostly used in the economic literature. To compare the different methods, I provide some exercises and examples to give an overview of how different economists value cultural heritage with a focus on built (immovable) heritage.
Results from academic work shows that cultural heritage has a large impact on the attractiveness of the area where it attracts tourists, creates jobs, attracts creative firms and attracts highly educated households who want to live close to (cultural) amenities. Even though cultural heritage seem to have a lot of benefits, recent discussion in developed countries is whether preserving built heritage limits a city’s ability to grow and adapt to the needs of society.
Held atErasmus Univ, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Inst Housing & Urban Dev Studies IHS, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionInternational