Protecting Heritage Places
10 steps to help protect the natural and cultural significance of places
Australian Heritage Commission, 2000
Step 4: Why is this place important? (continued)
Assessing the significance of a place
There are agreed processes for assessing the significance of natural and cultural heritage places. The general steps involve:
- describing the place involved
- considering the significant elements of the place, its components and its setting
- ordering your information using criteria
- if needed, conducting a comparative assessment
- considering known gaps in the information, such as whether all the values have been investigated
- writing a statement of significance about the place.
Heritage specialists have professional standards for assessing significance. These standards are contained within the conservation charters that need to be used as a required standard if you want someone to undertake an assessment of significance for you.
Remember that heritage significance is a judgement of a particular person or group, at a particular time, based on information available at that time. Different people have different perspectives on the importance of a place and views on heritage significance often change over time.