Community heritage discourse (CHD): A multidisciplinary perspective in understand built heritage conservation

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Despite the heritage sector’s increasing efforts to protect cultural built heritage, the destruction of the historic environment is more significant than ever. For more than a few decades, heritage management systems have faced enormous impediments in their efforts to block the pressures that threaten the
sustainability of built heritage conservation. Consequently, increasing numbers of participants are recognising that involving different stakeholders in conservation decision-making can be an opportunity to minimise the barriers to better built heritage conservation. However, in spite of these advances, the
heritage sector still has a lot of work to do before its diverse stakeholders join forces for the real reforms that could bring broader insights to the heritage discourse. The objective of this paper is to qualify a new analytical concept entitled community heritage discourse (CHD), as identified in a recent study by Amar (2017). CHD directly reflects on the structures, meanings and processes through which a consensus, expectations and collective action concerning built heritage conservation can be achieved. The focus is therefore on the following theoretical and empirical questions: what is built heritage, which values are significant, who is a stakeholder and how are the three areas related to the conservation process?

This paper is based on an empirical analysis of results and insights involving a literature review, focus groups and interviews conducted in Australia and Tanzania. This study reveals that built heritage conservation is not only dependent on a changing landscape and collective memories but, along with it,
individual attitudes and value systems. This understanding provides the opportunity to generate a more inclusive framework for the strategic development of heritage conservation plans at the local, national
and international levels. The paper gives a new approach to understanding the complex relationship between built heritage and stakeholder perceptions in heritage conservation.

Keywords: Community heritage discourse (CHD), Conservation process, Cultural built heritage, Decision-making, Heritage discourse, Heritage stakeholders
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
EventThe 25th Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) Conference - University of Melbourne, Melbourne , Australia
Duration: 14 Jan 201916 Jan 2019
Conference number: 25th (PRRES2019)


ConferenceThe 25th Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) Conference
Abbreviated titlePRRES
OtherThe annual PRRES Conference is the signature event for the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society and has achieved an A rating with the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. Each PRRES conference includes presentations from Australian and international speakers at the forefront of research and policy-making and brings together a multi-disciplinary group of leading property researchers from the Pacific Rim region and beyond.

For attendees there is the opportunity to hear from leading key note speakers, to present refereed and non-refereed papers, to participate in research colloquiums and thought leadership sessions and to network with colleagues from across the region.
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