Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Local Development Pilot Projects (LDPP): Frequently asked questions 

A vocation

What is the LDPP?

What is the purpose of LDPP?

 

A framework

How is a pilot project launched?

How do pilot projects work?

How is an LDPP pilot project funded?

 

A territory

How is the pilot territory defined?

What are the characteristics of a pilot territory?

 

A Charter

What is an LDPP Territory Charter?

What benefits does a Charter involve for the pilot territory?

Who draws up the Charter?

What is in the Charter?

What is the level of commitment of the Charter signatories?

 

A contribution

What are the constraints and benefits of an LDPP?

How can the LDPP contribute to heritage protection and enhancement?

 

Partners

What are the relationships between the pilot territory and the various administrative structures?

What is the role of the partners?

 

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A vocation


What is the LDPP?

The LDPP is a programme devised in accordance with the Council of Europe’s priorities; it forms part of a general political and social process made necessary by the many crises affecting Europe. The unique contribution of LDPP is based on a territorial and localised approach that promotes:

• a democratic culture that gives citizens and communities a fundamental role in policy shaping, decision making and territorial management, in support of institutions and public action;

• a development model that ensures cohesion and social justice, combats poverty and exclusion and improves people’s quality of life and living environment;

• the social and economic value of heritage through strategies which respect communities’ traditions and skills, make the most of diversity and regenerate local processes.

 

What is the purpose of LDPP?

The purpose of LDPP is to create a political framework for consultation involving a wide range of public and private players in discussion about the future of outstanding rural areas. In order to respond to difficulties dealing with development and planning of their territories, the authorities are accompanied in the drafting of a “Territory Charter”.

LDPP is an ideal means for helping Council of Europe member states to implement European conventions. Being pilot project makes it possible to draw upon real-life experience to gain a better understanding of states’ needs and develop common references, while networking best practices that can serve as examples and models for generating more initiatives at European level.

 

A framework


How is a pilot project launched?

LDPP pilot projects for Council of Europe member states are set up in the framework of the “Technical Co-operation and Consultancy Programme related to the integrated conservation of the cultural heritage”.

 

Co-operation requests are submitted to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. National authorities identify the areas or territories concerned, for each of which a territorial analysis is carried out. Four criteria are applied in identifying potential pilot territories: the existence of high-quality heritage whose value is recognised at national level; the rural character of the territory; the complexity of the development difficulties or weaknesses to be overcome; and a shared desire by the state and local communities to enter into an LDPP. The Council of Europe Secretariat examines the co-operation request and makes sure that the broadest possible consultation of the key stakeholders takes place during this phase and that there is consensus about the pilot territory proposed, which must be validated during a fact-finding visit by international experts. The co-operation agreements are established by exchanges of letters between the parties.

 

How do pilot projects work?

LDPP pilot projects are based on the specific features, human resources and dynamism of the communities living in the territories concerned. They involve civil society, inhabitants, investors, policy makers and the authorities in new forms of interaction.

 

The consultation process followed is both systematic and methodical. It leads to a shared vision of the future and consensus on the most desirable development options, which must be confirmed by all the partners at the end of the process when a territory charter is signed. Each stage in the process involves pilot actions which illustrate the innovative aspects resulting from the LDPP in terms of governance or methods of action.

 

How is an LDPP pilot project funded?

The LDPP pilot project has an operating budget which mainly consists of contributions from the partners in the project. It is supplemented on an ad hoc basis by contributions from the Council of Europe and grants from various sources, in particular for the implementation of “pilot actions”. The overall operating budget for a pilot project is estimated at €300 000 for average durations of three years.

 

Conducting a pilot project LDPP should lead to the allocation of an investment budget for the implementation of the territory charter on a medium-term basis in the years following the pilot project. This budget should be funded primarily by both local and regional authorities, possibly under European programmes, along with contributions from central government and its public bodies.

 

A territory


How is the pilot territory defined?

The notion of territory is taken as the most appropriate level for addressing sustainable local development. A pilot territory is an outstanding natural and cultural entity whose significance is recognised at national level on account of its heritage and landscape value, but which is subject to pressures that are threatening its future. The boundaries of a pilot territory, which is essentially a rural area, do not necessarily correspond to those of existing administrative entities. They are negotiated by all the players and agreed upon by the partners who are willing to take part in the LDPP pilot project.

 

What are the characteristics of a pilot territory?

Each pilot project stands out for the quality of the heritage in the pilot territories: specific landscape and natural features, cultural environment, strong identity, sense of belonging shared by all the members of the community, etc. These are the many characteristics which make each LDPP pilot project specific. The implementation of the pilot project reinforces these specific characteristics, which become the driving force for the future development of the territory and the positive transformation of the living environment.

 

A pilot territory is an inhabited, changing area. The cultural environment there has been, and continues to be, shaped by human beings. The discussions held under the LDPP prevent the spread of piecemeal activities and badly managed developments from undermining the quality and diversity of the area concerned, and encourage measures to remedy any past damage as far as possible.

 

A Charter


What is an LDPP Territory Charter?

A Territory Charter gives concrete effect to the consensus achieved between the partners at the end of the LDPP. It sets out in detail the vision they share for the future of the pilot territory.

 

The Charter sets out the main strands of work agreed by the partners and guides the measures to be taken in the territory by the various public and private players through four complementary and integrated objectives.

1. To enhance and manage the cultural, natural and human heritage as a sustainable local resource and a common good for the communities which live in the areas concerned.

2. To develop the areas socially and economically and spatially, while respecting their specific features.

3. To draw up innovative, co-ordinated and coherent investment projects that are better suited to local resources and integrated into public policies and action.

4. To validate new procedures and methods of action that can be used in any other area at national or international level.

 

What benefits does a Charter involve for the pilot territory?

The specific benefits of a Territory Charter lie in the fact that it defines the shape and content of an overall development project based on preservation of the heritage (cultural, natural, human).

 

The Charter is a reference framework to which all parties may refer to check the consistency of the measures taken. As it is signed by the various LDPP pilot project partners, it represents an explicit commitment on their part to subscribe to the shared vision it sets out. Being supported by all the partners, it is an additional resource to help them preserve an outstanding and fragile territory through procedures and a development model that respect the natural and cultural environment. It is an asset to be used by the project developers in dealings with funders, who will be reassured by the consistency and detail of the measures planned.

 

Who draws up the Charter?

The policy issues of the LDPP are supervised at national level by a special “Interministerial Commission”, with the participation of local and regional representatives. Management of the process on the ground is performed by a “Steering Committee” set up locally with the participation of representatives of the main local and national partners. Implementation of the activities is assigned to a “Project Implementation Unit”.

 

On the basis of the various contributions gathered during the process, the Project Implementation Unit draws up the Charter and has it validated by the steering bodies.

 

What is in the Charter?

The Charter sets out the objectives to be achieved, the protection, enhancement and development guidelines and the measures for implementing them, usually over a 10-year period.

 

It includes a “Territorial Development Project” (measures and principles), which sets out the conditions for implementing the various measures, the recommendations to be included in the various local, regional and national planning documents and the brand of the territory (ideogram, name).

 

What is the level of commitment of the Charter signatories?

The partners who sign the Charter express the desire to comply with its objectives and apply the relevant measures when exercising their respective responsibilities. Having been adopted by the partners in accordance with both individual and shared interests, the Charter provides a new basis for improving or facilitating implementation of the procedures for drawing up local authority planning documents and regional and national strategies. With a view to achieving the medium- and long-term objectives, additional partners (socio-professional bodies, public or private, national or international investors) may be invited to sign the Charter.

 

The Charter is not the only reference framework for a territorial project and it does not seek to replace the other structures and procedures in place. It fits in with the existing legislative and administrative frameworks so as to facilitate as far as possible the conduct of integrated projects compatible with international standards. It has no legal value; its justification is based solely on the partners’ desire to maximise their resources and expertise.

 

A contribution


What are the constraints and benefits of an LDPP?

In taking part in an LDPP pilot project, the partners agree to comply with a number of specific rules and to draw up the future development project for the pilot territory in accordance with their respective responsibilities. The process is intended to be led by local authorities and they must therefore pay particular attention to adapting their regulatory documents and granting building or operating permits in accordance with the principles and purpose of the LDPP. This moral obligation also extends to individuals and professionals, who must comply with the specific rules which the authorities adopt during the LDPP, in particular to encourage them to take greater account of heritage and the environment in their activities.

 

In return, the municipalities benefit from involvement in a joint project for the territory that receives national attention and is internationally recognised. This means they can hope to be more closely involved in spatial development projects and protection measures carried out by central government. In addition, they have a project implementation unit, a multidisciplinary team set up under the LDPP pilot project, which can help them to carry out their own projects. Lastly, the municipalities may expect additional financial resources for projects or easier access to programmes which receive regional, central government or even European Union funding. For their part, the inhabitants will benefit from the concerted efforts of all the partners to improve their environment and quality of life and develop services suited to their needs, as well as new activities and sources of information.

 

How can the LDPP contribute to heritage protection and enhancement?

The legitimacy of the LDPP in protecting heritage and initiating new economic practices stems from its ability to ensure compliance with its objectives through consultation and to persuade the partners to sign the Territory Charter. The more the partners join together under the LDPP pilot project in rethinking development strategies and assessing investment proposals in the light of the pilot territory’s overall challenges and needs, the greater the positive impact of the LDPP will be. At the same time, the carrying out of exemplary pilot actions that play a direct part in heritage protection (inventories, landscape charters, agri-environmental activities, company environmental assessments, rehabilitation measures, river maintenance, etc.) will help to bring about sustainable initiatives that boost the impact of the LDPP.

 

The effectiveness of the LDPP depends on its ability to raise awareness of the pilot territory’s heritage assets and contribute to the environmental education of the people who live, work and settle there, or pass through the area, with the aim of altering their behaviour and practices.

 

Partners


What are the relationships between the pilot territory and the various administrative structures?

The pilot territory can cover and encompass all or part of administratively defined areas (nature reserves, municipalities, regions, etc.). In this connection, these administrative entities are asked to take part in drawing up the Territory Charter and approving its content. They are vital links for implementing the territory strategy.

 

Projects and programmes run by these various administrative entities in the pilot territory must be compatible with the LDPP principles and the measures which will be included in the Charter.

 

What is the role of the partners?

The state initiates the LDPP and determines the pilot project’s political raison d’ętre. It makes the main financial contribution to the operation of the LDPP pilot project and is the guarantor of implementation of the measures set out in the Charter. The ministries and institutions provide expertise and share their know-how. They make use of the LDPP results in their strategies and programmes and send a strong signal to all potential investors by taking on board the choices that have to guide actions in the long term.

 

 Local communities are key players without whom no LDPP can be carried out. They are involved in drawing up the project, head the steering committee and are represented on the interministerial commission. They are assisted by the technical implementation unit in the initial phase and contribute to its funding.

 

The socio-economic partners are the main stakeholders at local level. They are involved in implementing the LDPP and in drawing up the Charter. They are represented in the working groups, help the technical implementation unit carry out the pilot actions on the ground and may also contribute, through their respective activities, to the implementation of the pilot actions and to the overall budget.