About the Chair

The UNESCO Chair "Economics of Culture and Heritage: strategies for protection and development"  was established in 2020 at the University of Turin.

The protection and promotion of heritage and cultural resources as driven of sustainable development pose continuous challenge e require evidence and data driven analysis. The aim of the Chair is to shed new light on economic models, measures and tools in a reaserch field which is still relatively young and and underrepresented.
The project is in continuity with the scientific contribution given to the UNESCO debate on culture and development by Prof. Walter Santaga, who passed away in 2013, and it is now carried at the Department of economics and statistics "Cognetti De Martis" of the University of Turin and at the Santagata Foundation.
Thanks to Prof. Santaga, the University of Turin has been a pioneer institution in reaseach and capacity building on this topic, having offered for over 15 years the International Master in "World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Depevolment".

Through its research and academic activites, the Chair will contribute to raise the awareness on the opportunities and challenges to consider culture and heritage as a lever for sustainable development strategies.
In particular, The proposal corresponds to specific Sustainable Development Goals of the Unesco 2030 Agenda:


The main long-term objective of the UNESCO Chair is to strengthen the knowledge about sostainable culture-based economic development.

The specific objectives are related to two main interlinked purposes:

The Chair promotes in its academic and capacity building programmes both the research activity and the transmission of the achieved scientific results.
The Chair intends to achieve its objectives through tree key activities: research, education and engagement in the field of the economics of cultural heritage.  

International Activities 

Master in Cultural Property Protection in Crisis Response (CPP)

The Master in "Cultural Property Protection in Crisis Response" is aimed at strengthening the international efforts and enhancing cooperation to face emerging challenges towards the protection of cultural heritage from conflicts, illicit activities, natural disasters and climate change impact, and for enhancing the social and economic recovery capacity of the affected communities. 

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Master in World Heritage and Cultural Project for Development (WHCPD)

The Master in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development is a one-year program that focuses on the essential knowledge and competencies needed to design projects in the cultural field with particular attention to sustainable development issues and new models of conservation and integrated management.  

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Academy on UNESCO Designations and Sustainable Development 

The International Academy on UNESCO Designations and Sustainable Development is a short-term capacity building program developed by Fondazione Santagata and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe. The main objective of the Academy is to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, through the advancement of institutional and professional capacities of managing authorities, communities and relevant operators from different UNESCO designations from both the Culture and Science sectors. 

Learn more about the Academy.