Heritage and Sustainability – a reflection on the role of participatory heritage practices in sustainable development

Ilaria Rosetti*, Marc Jacobs, Ana Pereira Roders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingConference proceedingAcademicpeer-review

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Heritage & Sustainability is an emerging multidisciplinary field. In the last decade, many studies have been carried out to define the role(s) of culture in achieving sustainability goals. Among them, the COST Network introduced the triple concept of culture in, for and as sustainability, suggesting that culture can play a self-standing, a mediating and a transformative role in achieving sustainable development. Further research has been done on the contribution of cultural heritage practices to environmental, social, economic and cultural dimensions of sustainability, and after 2016 to the UN 2030 Agenda and beyond. In this field, multi-stakeholders’ participation commonly represents an indicator of social sustainability, although, recent research suggests a broader impact of participatory heritage practices on other dimensions. Does multi- stakeholders’ participation in heritage practices play a role in achieving broader sustainability goals? This paper frames participatory heritage practices in a broad sustainability perspective, through a systematic literature review. Observing linkages with the framework developed by the COST Network, results show that it is possible to identify three roles of participatory heritage practices in achieving sustainable development: participation as right, as driver and as enabler. It is concluded that participatory heritage practices can play multiple roles in addressing sustainability, beyond being an indicator of its social dimension. Moreover, beside participatory heritage practices contributing to the sustainable development of natural and cultural resources, their governance, cities and communities, they also represent a key success factor for the continuity of sustainability-oriented heritage practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLDE HERITAGE CONFERENCE on Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals PROCEEDINGS
EditorsUna Pottgiesser, Sandra Fatoric, Carola Hein, Erik de Maaker, Ana Pereira Roders
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherTU Delft Open
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6366-356-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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