This paper discusses how the Heritage Place Lab (HPL) Pilot Phase, led by International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (2021–2022), supported La Antigua Guatemala (LAG) World Heritage Site as a case study to identify research gaps to strengthen HPL's management through a collaborative process between research and practice teams.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative method was adopted that followed the collaborative process proposed for the HPL Pilot Phase. An adapted version of the Enhancing Our Heritage (EoH) Toolkit 2.0 (forthcoming) was applied. The HPL served as an incubator for on-going research projects, with LAG acting as one of eight case studies.FindingsTo achieve sustainable development at the site, strengthening the governance model is a priority. This should focus on adopting a more comprehensive management approach that includes the surrounding areas and new values that have been identified since the approach's inscription in 1979 as well as addressing the impacts of climate change.Research limitations/implicationsThe study finds that this task is essential to widely disseminate and follow up the findings made between researchers and site managers as well as to propose a new governance model alongside associated changes in conservation and municipal and national legislation. Therefore, long-term political support and commitment from institutions, authorities and stakeholders involved in the management and conservation of LAG will be essential.Social implicationsAll sectors and institutions in the local community should be involved in the conservation and development of LAG and its surrounding areas. Local communities should benefit from a more effective and inclusive model of governance that recognises and enhances the communities' values as part of communities' identity and quality of life. Climate change mitigation and risk-prevention programmes should also be put in place.Originality/valueTo date, research in LAG has been disparate and has not responded to LAG's management needs that result from LAG's complexity as a living historical city. This paper demonstrates the contribution that collaborative work can make between researchers and site managers to identifying, prioritising and proposing solutions to the challenges facing World Heritage Sites.
The purpose of this paper is to outline and reflect on the new research agenda for the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage property. This research agenda was jointly developed by academics and practitioners from Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) and the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) respectively. This Research-Practice Team was put together for the Heritage Place Lab (HPL), a pilot project of the ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership programme.Design/methodology/approachA series of steps were undertaken to come up with research priorities and a new research agenda that are presented in this paper. The HPL project involved online workshops, due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, that were held between September 2021 and April 2022. The HPL methodology involved six assignments that were based on the Enhancing Our Heritage Toolkit 2.0 (EOH) which was being designed by UNESCO and its Advisory Bodies. This toolkit encouraged the team to establish site-specific management issues and research needs. The toolkit helped the team to have a detailed appreciation of the site's Outstanding Universal Value as well as other heritage values of national and local importance. The toolkit also involved the mapping of site attributes and multiple actors as well as the analysis of governance and legal frameworks. The toolkit also required the team to identify factors affecting the heritage property.FindingsThe Research-Practice Team highlighted challenges that resulted from the legacy of ill-informed research activities and conservation efforts at the World Heritage property. It became more apparent that the site managers were prioritizing the physical fabric of the site at the expense of the spiritual aspects. Lack of coordination among the actors was also undermining the governance structure. Four thematic strands which included local values and intangible cultural heritage elements; heritage governance; climate change and environmental sustainability and incorporation of local knowledge systems were identified for further research.Originality/valueThe paper is an outcome of collaborative efforts that were done by academics and practitioners. Researchers and site managers at Great Zimbabwe had hitherto worked in silos. The majority of previous and ongoing research on the World Heritage property falls short of addressing the dire management challenges. The paper is an attempt to broaden the scope in terms of the management of the site. In the past focus has been on the monumental aspects of the site with specific reference to the dry-stone walled structures. However, in this instance, the Research-Practice Team has integrated new interests such as the intangible aspects of Great Zimbabwe, spirituality and community beneficiation.
This article presents a process of building a practice-driven research agenda for Quebrada de Humahuaca, a World Heritage cultural landscape in northern Argentina, developed under the framework of the Heritage Place Lab (2021–2022) led by the World Heritage Leadership Programme. The research agenda aims to improve the property's management and governance structures through an inclusive approach that considers the participation of all stakeholders and rights holders.Design/methodology/approachThrough collaborative work, a step-by-step methodology was employed that included identifying the property's values and attributes, the involvement of different actors in its management and their specific roles, and the factors that might cause real or potential impacts. The systematisation and analysis of this information served to define research priorities and a practice-driven research agenda.FindingsA range of conflicts and threats were identified, and the values and attributes that define the property were recognised. The collaborative process helped define research priorities and allowed the development of a preliminary research agenda, which, in the long term, can meet the needs of the property's World Heritage Management Unit.Originality/valueThe originality of this work lies in the collaborative work undertaken by the research and practice teams to define a new research agenda based on practical needs to improve the management and governance structures of the World Heritage property.
Planning for Jaipur City in Rajasthan, north-western India, which was added to the World Heritage List in 2019, considers the surrounding hills and water systems. Rapid urbanisation is currently placing strain on the area, and natural resources and city green spaces are deteriorating. A multidisciplinary team of academicians, researchers and practitioners was assembled under the Heritage Place Lab (HPL) initiative with the aim of developing a research agenda to complement the city's Special Area Heritage Plan (SAHP) that is currently in development.Design/methodology/approachGiven the complicated urban structure of Jaipur, an interdisciplinary approach involving experts from various fields and engagement from all levels of the city's stakeholders was necessary. The partnership proceeded following the parameters provided under the HPL to jointly build a research agenda focussing on the management challenges of the World Heritage Site.FindingsThe co-produced research programme narrowed its initial emphasis on documenting of the natural heritage of the city to reflect the functions it served in a social setting. It was also revealed that the conflicting nature of activities within the World Heritage Site is caused by overlapping jurisdictions of several administrative and legislative components.Originality/valueJaipur, examined here by an interdisciplinary Research-Practice Team, provides a valuable and unique case study for heritage management, particularly given that most historic cities in India are facing comparable concerns surrounding urbanisation with rising pressures on natural resources.
A research-practice team was convened for the Machupicchu World Heritage Site to participate in the Heritage Place Lab (HPL), with the goal of building a practice-informed research agenda designed to support the management needs of the site.Design/methodology/approach The agenda was built based on both the HPL methodology and a complementary one.Findings The proposed agenda centres on three research priorities: (1) Ecosystem services and well-being, (2) local sustainable development and cultural heritage, and (3) mixed-heritage research integration for conservation.Practical implications These priorities address conflicts between the two agencies that manage the site and a lack of awareness of heritage values in contrast to economic interests.Originality/value The article proposes new research-informed strategies for joint working between the managing agencies of a site where conservation needs conflict with public use demands, representing the first such case for Peru.
Keitumetse, Susan Osireditse; Mwale, Katlego Pleasure; Satau, Gakemotho; Velempini, Kgosietsile; Baitsiseng, Vasco Ompabaletse; Ntema, Onalethuso Petruss Buyile Mambo; Manga, Jobe; Mogotsi, Stephen Thapelo
This study applied the Heritage Place Lab (HPL) research-practice teams methodology to identify missing cultural values and/or oversubscribed natural values and assess impacts on sustainable conservation of the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site. The authors found that cultural elements are often overlooked owing to limited inputs from trans-disciplinary and cross-stakeholder perspectives to conservation. This may explain why the majority of African sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger are of “natural” designations, as an absence of cultural values is linked to the exclusion of people and, therefore, gives rise to conflicts of access and use.Design/methodology/approachWorld Heritage Site statistics, published and non-published documents/literature, site maps, site registers, consultancy reports and archival materials were used to assess whether existing as well as potential natural and cultural site values were considered for the contemporary management of the Okavango Delta site in a way that leads to a sustainable conservation approach. The composition of the research-practice team as suggested by the HPL methodology constituted a ready-made diverse team of academics, policy makers and community members that could apply its diverse expertise to fully assess whether all values necessary for a sustainable conservation approach are accounted for.FindingsUsing expertise of trans-disciplinary team populated during the HPL, the authors found that cultural values of the OD-WHS are not highlighted in the OUVs dossier but are significantly expressed on site by locals, leading to potential conflicts of conservation. The research alerts conservationists to embrace an approach that includes all values on the site in order move towards sustainable conservation.Research limitations/implicationsMore research that require funding is needed to cover a wider area of the site, as well as enable work in adjoining countries to compare experiences per country - The Okavango waterbody starts in Angola and go through Namibia, and finally to Botswana.Practical implicationsConservation indicators of African nature world heritage sites constitute of, and border on, diverse stakeholders. An all-encompassing approach such as the Heritage Place Lab (HPL) methodology approach always needs to be factored in.Social implicationsIncluding cultural aspects of world heritage sites designated as ‘natural' is important to allow for socio-cultural inclusion in conservation management. This allows for local communities to become visible and active participants in the management of the site as they contribute their socio-cultural qualities to landscape conservation and management, a process that has potential to enhance sustainable conservation of the Okavango Delta site landscape, as well as other wetlands across the world.Originality/value The adopted approach to values assessment has somehow not conformed to the OUVs emphasis or other dichotomies of the World Heritage criteria but instead assessed on-the-ground management practice against key sustainable conservation indicators. Using the ICCROM HPL trans-disciplinary research-practice team approach, the focus was on a holistic values assessment of the site. The authors found that cultural values are currently under recognised, under-acknowledged and less expressed; creating potential conflicts that may hinder achievement of sustainable conservation and management of the site towards 2030 SDG agenda.
This paper presents participants' experiences of the collaborative process. The paper introduces the World Heritage Site and presents the central learning outcomes of a process through which researchers and practitioners sought to develop an empirically-grounded, site-specific and practice-led research agenda relevant to World Heritage management. The purpose of this paper is to discuss an approach to improving collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the World Heritage field.Design/methodology/approachFrom September 2021 to April 2022, a research-practice team comprised of social scientists and managers of the Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site in Norway participated in a capacity-building pilot initiative under the ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership programme. Bringing researchers and practitioners together in a joint collaborative process, the Heritage Place Lab (HPL) pilot programme aimed to function as an incubator for developing research agendas for World Heritage Sites.FindingsThe paper demonstrates that close collaboration between heritage researchers and practitioners can benefit World Heritage Sites, offering managers valuable inputs for informed and inclusive decision-making. In the case of the Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site, an improved understanding of the diversities in local values would benefit management, as existing management issues underpin the site's complexity. Furthermore, fruitful collaborations between heritage researchers and World Heritage managers depend on an overlapping and reflexive understanding of central concepts. This can be achieved through collaborative research-practice processes but is likely to require careful time management.Originality/valueFocussing on the collaborative process between World Heritage researchers and practitioners, and using additional information for comparable World Heritage examples obtained online, this paper shows how research interests and management challenges can be developed and aligned more successfully through cooperation and improved communication over time. Beyond the specific results for the Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site, the broader discussion presented on the challenges and importance of addressing the complexities of managing heritage sites will be valuable for other World Heritage Sites and managers.
There is evidence of emerging silos separating research and practices in heritage. Creating spaces where researchers and practitioners collaborate and learn from their exchanges is therefore needed. This premise was the foundation of the pilot phase for the World Heritage Leadership Heritage Place Lab that allowed eight teams from different geocultural contexts to come together to develop research agendas. This paper provides observations about how these agendas relate to key strands in critical heritage research globally. It complements the other papers in this Special Issue that describe the case studies in detail.Design/methodology/approachA keywords approach has been used to identify areas where shared research agendas can advance both heritage practices and academic interest in the field of heritage studies. This was based on the observations made by the author during the pilot phase of the Heritage Place Lab and the research agendas produced by the research-practice teams. The approach is exploratory and experimental, inviting other contributions.FindingsTwenty keywords are identified and explored via both academic literature and the research priorities identified by the research-practice teams that participated in the pilot.Originality/valueA keywords approach is relatively untested in the field of heritage studies. Recognizing that commonly-used terms (or words) have fluid meanings across disciplines and practices potentially opens new dimensions to the dialogue between heritage practitioners and researchers.