There are currently various methodologies used for carrying out impact assessments of cultural heritage. This paper aims to critically explore the reasons for this diversity and ascertain their varying consistency.Design/methodology/approachThe paper does a comparative analysis of the methodologies used, exploring how they measure up to the theoretical underpinnings of the ecosystem services approach and the cultural values model, considered to be the most comprehensive strategies for assessing the impact of cultural heritage.FindingsThe study reveals that there are few methodologies, and they only inconsistently work upon the theoretical perspectives mentioned earlier. In addition, from the public policy perspective, surprisingly few areas endowed with cultural heritage have been, in one way or another, assessed for impact, perhaps in part due to the lack of adequate methodologies.Research limitations/implicationsThe methods analysed are those that have been made public, which can be found in English. Also, they may be exploratory themselves, so some of the conclusions reached here may have also been found by the analysts themselves. This research serves to provide some scientific groundings for developing a more comprehensive impact assessment method.Practical implicationsThe results of this paper highlight certain glaring absences from current methodologies which invite the development of more definitive cultural impact assessment models. This is possible given the current state of the art, and further research and practice are necessary to develop a more comprehensive cultural values model–based research assessment.Social implicationsBy focussing on the absence of certain indicators on behalf of impact assessment methodologies, this paper sheds light on the overlooked (or under-measured) benefits derived from cultural heritage. Many of the benefits derived from this type of resource find an opportunity to come out in the open, greatly affecting researchers, cultural heritage planners and local communities.Originality/valueThis paper also serves to substantiate a glaring absence within the ecosystem services framework, which is the lack of practical methodologies for measuring some of these service values.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 16, 2020
Keywords: Impact assessment; Cultural heritage; Ecosystem services; Cultural values model