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  • Author or Editor: Mircea Negru x
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Abstract

Heritage as an emotional investment of the citizens is an essential resource for the communities affirming their local identity and establishing the great potential for tourism development. This chapter focuses on how towns in Europe can enhance their heritage by increasing competitive, sustainable tourism by using different tools (digital, collaborative, design) in the networking of heritage sites and placemaking. In this chapter the overall tangible and intangible cultural heritage in small- and medium-sized towns is considered under the term “heritage”. The networking of heritage is represented as a goal for connecting towns through heritage. Digitalization is a useful tool for better networking and placemaking. Networking and overall connection among cities and countries are rather important from different perspectives of tourism development. Small- and medium-sized towns are the focus of the research because they have been shrinking during the last few decades as a result of depopulation and socio-economic factors. Developing small- and medium-sized cities through their heritage promotions enhances tourism as a milestone for urban development and advancement. Sustainable development of tourism can be achieved by strengthening the ties between different actors in the process of placemaking and by enhancing the relations and interactions between tourism, cultural heritage, and local inhabitants using digital tools. One of the goals is to try to depict the connection between physical heritage networks and linked digital tools. Cultural assets are of great importance for revitalizing small cities and endangered towns, but these are not enough if investments are missing. It is necessary to attract investments in order for them to live again, rebuilding the lost commercial activities and public services. Heritage and tourism are closely connected; on the one hand, heritage is one of the significant stimuli for cultural tourism and, on the other hand, heritage sites can improve their preservation by tourism. But the relationship between the two can be conflictual due to a possible overuse and consequent deterioration of heritage sites due to different needs and strategies between the two fields. A new placemaking strategy must be developed that considers how tourism can influence (positively or negatively) the sustainability of cultural heritage as well as the role of heritage in the local identity. One of the specific aims of this chapter is to analyse the relationship between digitalization and the networking of cultural heritage and placemaking and tourism development in small- and medium-sized towns. This chapter highlights the findings and lessons learned from examples around the world, taken from the literature as well as from selected case studies from Romania, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Serbia. By engaging in a critical analysis of the literature and the selected case studies, we hope to present proposals for strengthening heritage potentials for sustainable tourism in small- and medium-sized towns, focusing on the junction of scientific theories and practical experiences. The final intentions of the chapter are to present the variety of possible ways to use networking of heritage sites as a medium for placemaking but also for the socio-economic redevelopment of towns, in favour of both the local population and prospective tourists.

Open Access
In: Placemaking in Practice Volume 1

Abstract

Many European cities are in crisis since most of them are struggling to socially and culturally move forward from the historic and recreational values that made them of interest to the global visitor. In 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) started assessing new forms of placemaking in the historic city through the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Approach. The same year, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) highlighted the importance of developing innovative and transversal approaches to examine cultural development in historic human settlements. Within this context, this chapter analyses placemaking in four European historic cities. Transversal approaches on how relational dynamics impact on the historic context will be scrutinized from the realm of the site-specific arts in the city of Belgrade (Serbia), for archaeology the case of analysis is in Bucharest (Romania), for architecture the context is Ávila (Spain) and for urban planning it is Hamburg (Germany). This transversal approach involves using different disciplines to comprehend placemaking from a polyhedral point of view. Therefore, it brings together complementary forms of heritage appropriation – including the construction of the heritage concept over time – methods and strategies that help integrate cultural expressions, practices and products as potential relational dynamics. To do so, we will define stakeholders such as minorities, communities and powerful entities and target groups. Methodologically, approaches will deepen the understanding of phenomenological, dynamic-relational and contextual notions of placemaking that help clarify how historic cities, tools and communities are all interconnected. The discussion will establish parallelisms between the experiences to clarify the implications of placemaking according to the field of approach and the prospects for those places. Cultural expressions and heritage regulation can provide new forms of appropriation and integration in permanent scenarios of the past. Accordingly, contemporary mutable relationships between places and society are at stake in the context of urban planning and the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Approach and in defining the future of historic cities. In conclusion, we point towards (1) imagining how placemaking and cultural heritage serve to delineate new forms of heritage-making in the historic city, and (2) to what extent this requires defining ethical forms of culture-based placemaking practices.

Open Access
In: Placemaking in Practice Volume 1