According to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) report of heritage at risk for 2011–2013, Cairo is facing serious conservation challenges after the revolution of 2011, witnessing aggressive cultural heritage vandalism. A marginalized inaccessible heritage site is considered one of the most vulnerable cultural assets. Existing studies focused on safeguarding accessible historical centers while insufficient attention is given to marginalized inaccessible heritage sites. The paper questions: how far the reaccess is preventive conservation action acting against possible encroachments? And if accessibility could stand as the key player promoting networks of marginal heritage landscapes, facilitating documentation and rehabilitation programs.Design/methodology/approachThe research adopts both analytical and experimental approaches. The former departs from cartographic studies and systematic contextual surveys carried out in March 2017 and was updated in July 2019 concerning the delimitation of historic Cairo. It concludes by mapping marginal heritage besides classifying their value significance, urban risks and causes of inaccessibility. The latter phase structures a framework guiding accessibility interventions of marginal heritage and examines its applicability through a cross-case comparison between four sites while proposing accessibility interventions strategies.FindingsFinally, the study offers a comprehensive assessment model for the new interventions measuring the contextual, economic, social and administrative influences of accessibility.Practical implicationsThe framework is considered a decision-making tool defining marginalized heritage areas with the highest priorities of enactments. The study aims to facilitate the mission of governors, policymakers and experts in conserving problematic urban heritage through soft transformations.Social implicationsBoth the framework and the assessment model are based on social empowerment and involvement within different phases of design, management and monitoring plans.Originality/valueIt aims to perform new urban codification representing the contemporary identity of marginal heritage landscape in developing countries challenging heritage vandalism. It enables reconfiguring the delimitation of historic Cairo through proposing new parameters and guidelines.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 16, 2020
Keywords: Marginalized-inaccessible heritage sites; Cultural landscape; Risk mitigation; Preventive conservation; Accessibility assessment model