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Upscaling Local Adaptive Heritage Practices to Internationally Designated Heritage Sites

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World Heritage Sites can face an onslaught of risks from high tourist numbers, climate changes, the impacts of conflict and war, and static management practices. These sites have been ascribed a value that is considered both outstanding and universal (OUV) and as such they are placed at a higher prioritisation than all other heritage sites. The aim of this listing is to ensure their protection for future generations. Yet, the management practices enacted under this preservation mandate can be reactive rather than proactive and reflective, overly concerned with maintaining the status quo, and restricted by a complexity of national and international regulations and stakeholders. We here introduce a local-scale, community-driven heritage project, called CHICC, that offers, we argue, a useful insight into management practices that may be upscaled to internationally designated sites. Although this is not a blueprint to fit all heritage needs, some of the fundamental intentions embedded within CHICC can and perhaps should be adopted in the approaches to internationally designated site management. These include inclusivity with the local community as a priority stakeholder, a deeper understanding of the site including its future risks, consideration of the wider heritage landscape, and greater incorporation of heritage dynamism. Through analysing and evaluating the case study project, this conceptual chapter argues that adaptive heritage practices are underway in some local-scale contexts, and this can be a useful template for advancing the management of World Heritage Sites.

Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
What often remains missing across much of this work, however, is the perspectives—or voices—of the local communities who are impacted, despite the aforementioned developments deriving from statements such as the Burra Charter. To close this gap, scholars and heritage practitioners in recent years have directly approached the relationships among communities, climate change, and heritage. An example of this is the focus on the impacts of climate change on heritage and the role of communities in mitigation [62], whereas others have explored heritage and climate change through the lens of loss [10]. The discipline of heritage studies is being shaped by such discourse, particularly work on heritage decay, conservation [63], social value, and authenticity [64,65]. There is, therefore, developing energy at the nexus of climate change, heritage, and communities. This article will now turn to the Horizon 2020-funded project Culture, Heritage and Identities: Impacts of Climate Change in NW Europe (CHICC: Grant No: 895147), which focuses on this intersection. Against the canvas of one of CHICC’s signature case studies, we argue that a form of adaptive heritage is in fact practised at this small scale, local-heritage-centred community archaeology project, and we identify key elements of its practises that can be scaled up to aid the management of World Heritage Sites. Although our study is neither comprehensive, canonical, or normative, we do suggest that there is great value in cataloguing and dissecting on-going small-scale heritage projects—often inclusive, innovative, and intimate—with an eye towards adaptive upscaling.

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement 895147).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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