Community Involvement in Heritage

Edited by: Koen Van Balen, Aziliz Vandesande

The value of heritage for society is increasingly underscored. This goes hand in hand with a growing interest in local communities' involvement in heritage management plans. Although this shift in discourse is acknowledged, its practical implementation seems often too ambitious and is not easy to apply. Therefore, the Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation (RLICC, University of Leuven) considered "community participation in valuing and managing heritage" as a relevant and timely topic for its annual international conference, the "Thematic Week." This volume reports on the lectures and fruitful debates dedicated to this theme during the 2014 'Thematic Week.' The conference entailed an integral and holistic approach towards community participation. Focusing traditionally on the conservation of the historic urban environment and immovable heritage, the RLICC took the opportunity to involve both the intangible and movable heritage fields, which have a more apparent relation to community participation in managing heritage. The contributions - including theoretical reflections, policy/discourse analyses, and practical case studies - show that a balanced approach is needed. This is evidence that more research is required on the success and failure factors associated with community participation in heritage preservation and management projects. It appears that taking full advantage of public participation requires considering heritage as an economic, social, and intellectual resource for local communities. These added benefits can enhance the value a community attributes to heritage and encourages them to maintain it. (Series: Reflections on Cultural Heritage Theories and Practices) [Subject: Sociology, Cultural Studies, Heritage Studies]

Publication Date: 1/27/2015
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789044132632

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