Climate Change and Cultural Heritage: A Systematic Literature Review (2016–2020)

Scott Allan Orr*, Jenny Richards, Sandra Fatorić

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Research focusing on climate change and cultural heritage informs heritage management and policy. Fatorić and Seekamp assessed this field up to 2015, highlighting the need for periodic reassessment of the field given the observed growth and research that documents how cultural heritage contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Five years on, this systematic review reflects on the state of the art by evaluating 165 publications (2016–2020) about cultural heritage and climate change. We find the field continues to grow, and remains rich in disciplinary and methodological diversity, but predominantly represents research in and about Europe. The number of publications about integrating cultural heritage into adaptation and mitigation are increasing but remain relatively few compared to those about physical impacts on individual buildings or sites. The impact of climate change on intangible heritage has rarely been the sole focus of recent research. Although researchers are increasingly situating their research in a wider context of opportunities and barriers, vague timescales, and unspecific references to changes in the natural environment are additional limitations. This review also identified a lack of international collaboration, highlighting the urgent need for global cooperation and knowledge exchange on climate change and cultural heritage.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages43
JournalHistoric Environment: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • climatic change
  • cultural landscapes
  • Cultural resources
  • heritage sites
  • historic environment
  • research meta-characteristics


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate Change and Cultural Heritage: A Systematic Literature Review (2016–2020)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this