As a joint initiative of the Planning and Building Division and the Division for Economic and Financial Affairs, the EU-funded project HerO was launched in spring 2008. Since then, the City of Regensburg acts as Lead Partner of the city network, with the World Heritage Coordination Office being responsible for the project management. The cooperation is funded with approximately 650,000 Euros by the European programme for urban sustainable development URBACT and aims to develop innovative management strategies for historic urban landscapes. The key objective is facilitating the right balance between the preservation of built cultural heritage and the sustainable, future-proof socio-economic development of historic towns in order to strengthen their attractiveness and competitiveness. Emphasis is placed on managing conflicting usage interests and on capitalising the potential of cultural heritage assets for economic, social and cultural activities (“Heritage as Opportunity”).
The European Commission has awarded HerO the “Fast Track Label”, a specific instrument of the “Regions for Economic Change” initiative which aims to get the cities and the managing authorities of the European Cohesion Policy’s Operational Programmes working together to enhance the impact exchange activities have on local level.