In recent decades, the theme of accessibility has continued to acquire greater scientific salience, in the wider context of the growing convergence between conservation and presentation of cultural heritage.

The concept of accessibility is nowadays understood as central to any conservation project and to any heritage interpretation strategy.

This evolution is reflected in Malta’s Cultural Heritage Act (2002) which in Article 4 (2) declares that:

‘’Every citizen of Malta as well as every person present in Malta shall have the duty of protecting the cultural heritage as well as the right to benefit from this cultural heritage through learning and enjoyment. The cultural heritage is an asset of irreplaceable spiritual, cultural, social and economic value, and its protection and promotion are indispensable for a balanced and complete life.’’

The project team includes several researchers in conservation and management of cultural heritage who have conducted and supervised research in this field for a number of years, focussing on the application of policies and guidelines in the historic built environment, and the specific challenges presented by barriers to accessibility in historic buildings.

The original contribution of the I-ACCESS project is the application of these concepts to the specific challenges encountered in the streets of historic town centres.