HERITAGE 2020 – 7th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development follows the path paved by prior editions of this event. HERITAGE 2020 aims at maintaining a state of the art event regarding the relationships between forms and kinds of heritage and the framework of sustainable development concepts, namelly the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

However, the four dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economics, society and culture) keep to be the pillars of this event defining an approach on how to deal with the specific subject of heritage sustainability. Furthermore, beyond the traditional aspects of heritage preservation and safeguarding, the relevance and significance of the sustainable development concept is to be discussed and scrutinised by some of the most eminent worldwide experts.

For a long time now heritage is no longer considered as a mere memory or a cultural reference, or even a place or an object. As the previous editions of “Heritage” (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018) have proven, heritage is moving towards broader and wider scenarios, where it becomes often the driven forces for commerce, business, leisure and politics. The Proceedings of the previous editions of this conference are the "living" proof of this trend.

As stated by some the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, the role of cultural and social issues keep enlarging the statement where environment and economics had initial the main role. The environmentalist approach (conceiving the world as a whole ecological system) enhanced the idea of a globalized world, where different geographic dimensions of actions, both local and global, emerged as the main relationships between producers, consumers and cultural specificities of peoples, philosophies and religions. In such a global context heritage became one of the key aspects for the enlargement of sustainable development concepts. Heritage is often seen through its cultural definition and no further discussion seams to be appropriate. However, sustainable development brings heritage concepts to another dimension, as it establishes profound relationships with economics, environment, and social aspects.

Nowadays, heritage preservation and safeguarding is constantly facing new and complex problems. Degradation of Heritage sites is not any more just a result of materials ageing or environmental actions. Factors such as global and local pollution, climate change, poverty, religion, tourism, commodification, ideologies and war (among others) are now in the cutting edge for the emerging of new approaches, concerns and visions about heritage. Recent events in the Middle-East are saddling proving the rightness of these assertions and deserve our attention.

Thus, HERITAGE 2020 – 7th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development proposes a global view on how heritage is being contextualized in relation with the four dimensions of sustainable development. What is being done in terms of research, future directions, methodologies, working tools and other significant aspects of both theoretical and field approaches will be the aims of this International Conference. Furthermore, heritage governance, and education are brought into discussion as the key factors for enlightenment of future global strategies for heritage preservation and safeguarding.

As in the previous editions Early Stage Researchers are welcome to share the results of their research projects, namely post-graduation projects and doctoral projects, among others.