A Framework for Assessing the Vulnerability of Cultural Heritage Sites to Climate Change

Technology No.


A six-stage framework for assessing the vulnerability of cultural heritage sites to climate change. The framework was initially developed through research at Dublin Institute of Technology and applied to Ireland’s two World Heritage sites (Brú na Bóinne and Skellig Michael). The ‘values based’ method is suitable for application to a wide range of cultural heritage including landscapes, monuments, and buried archaeology. The six-step framework and the utilisation of indicators allows comparison between sites and yet are sufficiently flexible to account for localised concerns.

The Framework can be used:

  1. By site managers to understand climate vulnerabilities
  2. By local/national government to determine relative vulnerabilities across a selection of heritage sites
  3. By decision makers at all levels to aid with adaptation planning and prioritisation of resources.

Files (Product)

The product consists of

  1. Conceptual framework and definitions
  2. Six step process for assessing vulnerability
  3. Model for calculating the measure of vulnerability 


The papers underpinning the development of the Framework and are available on Open Access via the journal Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites

  1. Daly, C. 2014 ‘A Framework for Assessing the Vulnerability of Archaeological Sites to Climate Change; theory, development and application’ in Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, volume 16, No. 3, p.268-282 Maney Publishing. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1179/1350503315Z.00000000086
  2. Daly, C. 2012 ‘Climate Change and Archaeological Sites; a review of impacts theory’ in Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, volume13, No 4, p.293-310 Maney Publishing. Available at: https://arrow.dit.ie/beschrecart/8/


Consultancy services offered through Lincoln Conservation (http://www.lincolnconservation.co.uk/)

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