Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA)


Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) is an assessment methodology based on the indications of the Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties of ICOMOS International (2011). It aims at assessing, in a systematic and coherent way, the positive/negative effect of one or more transformation projects affecting values, attributes, authenticity and integrity of World Heritage sites. The assessment is functional to the indication of recommendations and possible mitigation measures to reduce or avoid possible negative impacts on the heritage.


HeRe_Lab – Heritage Research, a joint laboratory between the Florence World Heritage and relations with UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Florence and the University of Florence, has developed an ad hoc HIA for the Historic Centre of Florence World Heritage site, following the same mechanisms and procedures.


During the testing phase of the ad hoc HIA model for the site, some interaction and coordination issues between the various stakeholders involved in the development projects of some “transformation areas” have emerged. Therefore, HeRe_Lab has drafted and refined a Preliminary Assessment Model based on the content of the scoping report, which is the main output of the Sccoping phase during the HIA process. This pivoltal tool is suitable to be integrated with the decision-making processes, and with the administrative and technical procedures of the municipal administration as well as of the other competent institutions in the territory.

Steps of the Preliminary Assessment Model


The Florence World Heritage Office is in charge with the coordination – in all its procedural stages – of the application of the model. The Office is supported by the expertise of HeRe_Lab for the drafting and compiling of the model. This tool allows to optimize and simplify the assessment procedure of potential impacts as follows:

  • identification of the value and attributes of the Historic Centre of Florence potentially involved in the transformation project
  • participation in the consultative decision-making phase with the stakeholders
  • compilation of the Preliminary Assessment Modelo of the project
  • opinion on transformation with possible introduction of mitigation proposals

Steps for the value and attribute identification process015-attribute-identification

The pubblication “Appunti per un Modello di Indagine Preliminare“, published by HeRe_Lab in September 2019, aims to introduce into the Italian scenario:

  • the procedures, contents and applications of the Heritage Impact Assessment methodology for the sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • the Florentine experience on Heritage Impact Assessmet.

The project is part of the projects financed in 2018 by the Law 77/2006 of the MiBACT  “Special measures for the protection and use of  Italian sites and elements of cultural, landscape and environmental interest, included in the” World Heritage List “, placed under the protection of UNESCO ”.