Special Session 7: Building Resilient and Distinctive Regions: Cultural Heritage-Based Development Models

Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories - Izmir, Turkey

Session Organisers:

Anna Maria Colavitti (amcolavt@unica.it), University of Cagliari, Italy
Alessia Usai, (a_usai@unica.it), University of Cagliari, Italy

In a crowded global market, territorial competition is increasingly based on the demonstration by cities and regions of their “distinctiveness” in terms of identity and local territorial capital (Anholt, 2011; Camagni, 2008). In the construction of a “distinctive” territorial image, several factors have to be considered, however from the point of view of spatial planning, emerges above all the functional and aesthetic quality of the built environment and its equipment (physical, social, economic, infrastructure), reachable through: the recovery of historic centres’, the redevelopment of Brownfield’s or waterfronts, the construction of iconic buildings vowed to cultural consumption (museums, multiplex cinemas, shopping malls, etc.), urban design or the design of residential gated communities (Turok, 2009). Historical urban landscape and protected environments represent a fundamental element of this process as they contribute with their symbolic and aesthetic value to the construction of local identity and with their conservation and valorisation to local economy, becoming a central issue in the research of alternative and sustainable development models (Bianchini, 1990; Carta, 1999, 2009; Casavola and Trigilia, 2012; Mercer, 1996).

These new development models are based on collaborating polarities to create an added value for the global territorial system rather than a mere passive policies receptor (Barton, Grant, Guise, 2003; Coyle, 2011). In these models, the economic, environmental and social issues are framed following well-established relationships, supply chain and development systems related to local resources, above all the cultural heritage and landscape. It is a very broad field of study which involves: the models to estimate the economic benefits generated by architectural and environmental heritage; the reorganization of territorial and productive systems assets (districts, clusters or networks); new forms of management and governance (also partnership strategies); marketing and place branding; participatory processes for the involvement of residents and community building, even through new standards for neighbourhood design.

The recovery of some community practices and their application in land use planning allows, in fact, the creation of cooperative distinctive networks which are able to develop knowledge-based tools aimed to respond in a “creatively” way to a pre-assembled urbanism model (Magnaghi, 1998; Marson , 2010). Through a critical analysis of the literature and the comparison of international experiences, the session try to shed light on the contributions given by cultural heritage-based development models in the construction of resilient, competitive and “distinctive” regions, to check whether and how they contribute to the maintenance and development of territorial vocations, making local communities less vulnerable to economic and environmental impacts of global competition, following an almost biological principle that identify complexity as a winning factor (Vendittelli, 2006). Accordingly to this, the work session will be organized around the reflections offered by selected contributions on the following issues:

1. Relationship between cultural and urban planning: theoretical approaches and case studies;

2. Cultural heritage-based development models in building resilient communities

3. Cultural heritage and neighbourhood design: building ‘distinctive’ community, identity and territorial images. 

Submission Guidelines

Anyone interested in participating in the session should register for the conference before April 6th 2014 by clicking here. Please ensure that your abstracts are no longer than 800 words, text only. If you have any questions regarding this special session, please contact the session organisers on the email addresses provided. 

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