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Heritage Impact Assessment/HIA

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Home > Learning Resources > Heritage Impact Assessment/HIA

A Heritage Impact Assessment/HIA is a quite new tool that helps decision makers to assess or to predict the possible impacts of any proposed project on heritage properties and resources. It is a study to evaluate the impact the proposed development or site alteration will have on the heritage resource(s) and to recommend a conservation strategy of the resource(s). HIA can be used to decide whether the decision makers could issue permit or reject the proposed project. The tool will ensure a balance is struck between the urban development and heritage conservation, starting from the project inception stage. HIA also has the following advantages: 1) demonstrates Government's commitment to enhance heritage conservation; and 2) engages public at an early stage. A Heritage Impact Assessment is applied for any project or proposal application that directly affects a heritage resource or its setting.

The output of this tool is a document in which the level of information provided should be appropriate and proportionate to the significance of the heritage asset and the potential impact of the proposal upon that significance. For example, for an application that includes substantial demolition of a heritage asset,it is reasonable to expect an applicant to provide a thorough and detailed understanding of the asset and a thorough explanation of the impact of the demolition on the asset and its setting. While an application for a minor alteration to part of the asset is likely only to require detailed information on the affected part of the asset, with only a brief xplanation of how the impact relates to the significance of the asset as a whole.

HIA is usually a formal-legal tool applied in heitage cities or areas. In some countries or cities HIA commision is formed to assess the HIE report. This study will be based on a detail understanding of the significance and heritage attributes of the cultural heritage propertie), assess any impact the proposed development or site alteration will have on the resource(s), consider mitigation options, and recommend a conservation strategy that best conserves the resource(s) within the context of the proposed development or site alteration.

The report is then to be use to issue building permit and guidances to conserve the heritage reources in the proposed project area.

The report itself could be prepared through several steps as follows: 1) data and information about the building or site considered as heritage resources; 2) descriptions of the significant of the heritage resources; 3) discription of the proposed project; 4) assessment of the impact of the proposed project to the heritage resources and sites, including aalternatef and mlitigation sstrategiess; and 5) proposals and justification for heritage conservation and management in the proposed project.

The effective implementation of HIA requires framework conditions as follows: 1) government and people awareness on the heritage conservation; 2) data and information on the heritage resources or assets in the area or city; 3) qualified heritage conservation professional; and legal and institutional framework for heritage conservation.

This tool can be used to assess that any proposed project on heritage cities would not create negative impacts on heritage properties and resources, including their seting. It also useful to provide guideline for heritage conservation in the heritage city or areas. Specifically for the SUSTAIN, this tool could be used as a part of comprehensive steps to prepare plans, to monitor and evaluate urban development and management on specific issue or theme such as: sustainablke urban tourism, climate change, urban transition management, urban infrastructure development, urban water management, and sustainable urban transport.