A cultural environment is a geographically defined area which in its appearance reflects essential characteristics of social developments. Cultural environments are designated by the Danish municipalities, and the area is covered by The Planning Act and the Danish Museum Act.
A cultural environment does not only comprise individual buildings and cultural heritage elements, such as burial mounds, watermills or the main buildings of manors but also built-up entities, such as villages, fishing hamlets, residential areas, factories, etc., where there is a historical connection between buildings and the narrative of the place. The value of the cultural environment does not exclusively depend on the age and physical condition of the environment, but more specifically on the narrative of the cultural environment. And it is crucial that the narrative is visible and can be experienced today.
Cultural environments are an important part of the identity of the municipalities. They help create a historical awareness of our common cultural heritage. They contain region-specific narratives that are conveyed through both unique and representative built-up areas. Cultural environments make it possible for us to understand who we are, where we come from, and can also be good business – not only to the owners, but also for adjacent dwellings and the municipality as a whole. For cultural environments have the potential to increase the quality of our lives and generate economic value for tourism, business and in industry, and habitation.
Podcasts: The story of two cultural environments
Report from Lyø – an island with a very special cultural environment (in Danish):
Report from Højer, a town by the Wadden Sea in Southern Jutland (in Danish):