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7th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development - HERITAGE 2020

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Due to the Covid-19 containment measures, please check the latest status of the event at the organisers’ webpage.


-> "will not be able to keep the original plan for Heritage 2020.
For the first time since we started this Conference, back in 2008, we are forced to change plans.

The Organising Committee considered 3 possibilities:
- postpone the event to September/October; however, it is not sure that we would be able to have it then - another outbreak of this virus might occur, flights might not be working (or be too expensive), the Coimbra University facilities might not be available due to changes in the academic calendar, etc., etc. We considered too risky to believe that in Sept/Oct everything would run smoothly.

- postpone one year; however, that would clash with the normal flow of Green Lines conferences and break the sequence of Heritage editions (always in even years); furthermore, all your work preparing this year's paper could be lost and/or outdated.

- organise the conference on-line; however, that would be technically very difficult due to the overwhelming pressure on the net infrastructure (with all classes happening on-line, on-line meetings, work from home, etc.)..."


HERITAGE 2020 – 7th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development follows the path paved by prior editions of this event. HERITAGE 2020 aims at maintaining a state of the art event regarding the relationships between forms and kinds of heritage and the framework of sustainable development concepts, namelly the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


However, the four dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economics, society and culture) keep to be the pillars of this event defining an approach on how to deal with the specific subject of heritage sustainability. Furthermore, beyond the traditional aspects of heritage preservation and safeguarding, the relevance and significance of the sustainable development concept is to be discussed and scrutinised by some of the most eminent worldwide experts.


For a long time now heritage is no longer considered as a mere memory or a cultural reference, or even a place or an object. As the previous editions of “Heritage” (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018) have proven, heritage is moving towards broader and wider scenarios, where it becomes often the driven forces for commerce, business, leisure and politics. The Proceedings of the previous editions of this conference are the "living" proof of this trend.


As stated by some the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, the role of cultural and social issues keep enlarging the statement where environment and economics had initial the main role. The environmentalist approach (conceiving the world as a whole ecological system) enhanced the idea of a globalized world, where different geographic dimensions of actions, both local and global, emerged as the main relationships between producers, consumers and cultural specificities of peoples, philosophies and religions. In such a global context heritage became one of the key aspects for the enlargement of sustainable development concepts. Heritage is often seen through its cultural definition and no further discussion seams to be appropriate. However, sustainable development brings heritage concepts to another dimension, as it establishes profound relationships with economics, environment, and social aspects.


Nowadays, heritage preservation and safeguarding is constantly facing new and complex problems. Degradation of Heritage sites is not any more just a result of materials ageing or environmental actions. Factors such as global and local pollution, climate change, poverty, religion, tourism, commodification, ideologies and war (among others) are now in the cutting edge for the emerging of new approaches, concerns and visions about heritage. Recent events in the Middle-East are saddling proving the rightness of these assertions and deserve our attention.


Thus, HERITAGE 2020 – 7th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development proposes a global view on how heritage is being contextualized in relation with the four dimensions of sustainable development. What is being done in terms of research, future directions, methodologies, working tools and other significant aspects of both theoretical and field approaches will be the aims of this International Conference. Furthermore, heritage governance, and education are brought into discussion as the key factors for enlightenment of future global strategies for heritage preservation and safeguarding.


As in the previous editions Early Stage Researchers are welcome to share the results of their research projects, namely post-graduation projects and doctoral projects, among others.


Conference topics include:


- Preservation of historic buildings and structures


Papers submitted under this topic should address questions regarding historic buildings preservation, rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, maintenance, and as well questions related with sustainable use of historic constructions. Approaches to historic buildings preservation may considerer the whole building or structure, as well significant aspects such as materials conservation and repair, monitorisation of structures and materials decay, among others. Approaches considering sustainable key aspects, such as energy efficiency in historical buildings, are also welcomed. Case studies are also accepted under this topic.


- Heritage and governance for sustainability


The word governance in social sciences draws attention to the many possibilities of overcoming the conventional “anarchy” in the international system, by introducing mechanisms for the creation of a certain amount of political order in the world system. This raises issues that range from the material allocation of material resources, to environment protection, wealth production and distribution, labour laws and theirvenness/unevenness across the world, security and peace issues, human rights and, in general, governance for development. At the level of politics, it raises the crucial issue of power and authority, their origin and agents having to be considered. Cosmopolitanism versus communitarianim can be addressed also from this point of view (or from a more philosophically inspired viewpoint: universalism versus relativism). Thus, ideas on politics and on how to govern the world, in a context of globalisation, encompassing notably ideologies, political regimes are soft law arrangements, are crucial for the understanding of politics as common heritage of humanity. Furthemore, policies on heritage, as part of much larger politic context, might also be addressed under this topic, enhancing the significance of political decisions and policies for heritage preservation and meaning under the framework of Sustainable Development.


- Heritage and society


Sustainable Development became a keyword in late Modernity and Postmodernity. One of the pillars for sustainability is the people, not only as individuals but as groups and communities, capable of producing cultural expressions of their inner dynamics, both of an immaterial and of a material nature. Thus, peoples’ capacity for aggregating, translated into groups, communities, societies, institutions and organisations, civil society and social movements and the ways in which these patterns percolate across the world are very much at the core of the creation of  both the common heritage of humanity and specifities and localisms. Social meanings and uses of heritage are to be addressed under this topic, enhancing the social importance of heritage as references and keyfactors for social cohesion and development. Demographic issues (from birth policies to euthanasia and migration) are also part of this panel, in the sense that the bodies and underlying cultures are also part of a common heritage, which the concept of human development so well expresses.


- Heritage and environment


As a pillar of Sustainable Development, Environmental issues play a key role on the preservation of our global ecological system. Environmental approaches are facing both nature conservation and environmental degradation such as resources, energy and waste management. These environmental concerns are addressed in this topic by analysing relationships between both natural and built heritage and environmental key aspects. At the natural heritage level, the following issues are suggested for consideration: natural heritage and environmental degradation, such as climate change, natural disasters, pollution, and depletion of species; management of natural heritage areas regarding accessibility, and impacts from visitors. At the built heritage level, the following issues are suggested for consideration: energy efficiency strategies in building and historic districts renewal; waste management from historic buildings renewal; policies for historic districts and protection areas of monuments, such as pollution reduction and low impact mobility.


- Heritage and economics


As main factor for human welfare and communities’ development, economics plays a key role on fulfillment of people expectancies. Heritage exploitation is currently a factor of human welfare and local development, raising new questions on preservation and safeguarding both material and intangible heritage. Heritage consumption is materialized in tourism activities, commerce of traditional artifacts and symbolic images, representing the richness and identity of a community or population. Tourism management of heritage sites, diffusion of traditional arts and crafts, globalization of cultural material or intangible items, investment policies in heritage conservation and local communities’ involvement are key issues for economical sustainable development that may be addressed in this topic.


- Heritage and global warming: a calling for new actions on cultural safeguarding


Global warming and climate changes became one of the most dangerous threats of our times. Besides the risk of ecological disruption (or even mass-extinction) climate changes constitutes significant problems in terms of heritage and cultural heritage safeguarding. What is being done? what are the procedures and the methodologies? are there some results that can be used in future projects? Papers submitted to this chapter may include theoretical approaches and applied research. Case-studies are also welcome.

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