Improving well-being in urban heritage management

In order to build the connection between heritage conservation and human well-being, a conceptual model is proposed here. The model, to be referred to as the ‘Heritage Map’, could be used to analyse impacts of development, policies, and programmes on communities using a people-centred approach.' The Heritage Map is outfitted like a standard model for heritage environments where well-being factors are correlated with heritage values, as seen in Figure 18.2. In the Heritage Map, a historic place is conceptualized in terms of its associated heritage values; values are also described in terms of their constituent tangible and intangible heritage attributes. Then, using attributes based in each category' of heritage values, the degree to which the values may make an impact on the social, psychological, and physical health of the whole heritage environment is represented. The people-centred focus, or the overall well-being of community’, remains at the heart of the Map, indicating the primary goal of the heritage conservation programme. The Map can be used as an assessment tool in development planning or heritage conservation and how such activity impacts each heritage value and level of community well-being could be measured.

Considering how we assess each value as it contributes to the richness and ‘health’ of a heritage environment, each of the six identified heritage values becomes an influencing layer, building to a total realm of impacts within each of the three areas of context (physical, social and psychological). The context of the physical environment of the Heritage Map includes all attributes of heritage conservation that influence the physical heritage environment, such as materiality, architecture, and tangible artefacts. Likewise, social and psychological contexts are assessed. Within these contexts we can examine the influence of traditions, activity, and behaviour as intrinsic parts to understand the cultural and heritage landscape, only' now we see these as elements of the specific heritage landscape. We can investigate the influence of the economy; in particular, what impact the role of the local economy' in development plays in the success and health of the community'. The sense of community assesses the emotional psychology of the community' as a whole, while each serve as an influencing part of the assessment on the outcomes of interactions within the environment generated by' policies and practices.

The map, read as a whole, creates a visual and analytical tool to see specific impacts within multiple layers of influence. Based on the level of impact, each ‘value ring’ can be weighted; creating a visual assessment of overall impact. In total, we can use the new model to see the relative influence of the

The ‘Heritage Map’ would assess policies and programmes using heritage values as each layer of a concentric ring surrounding the well-being of people, community, and heritage

Figure 18.2 The ‘Heritage Map’ would assess policies and programmes using heritage values as each layer of a concentric ring surrounding the well-being of people, community, and heritage. The values themselves can be assessed between social, psychological, and physical influences on the heritage environment.

Source: Julie Williams Lawless

heritage values, the tangible and intangible heritage attributes, and programmes and policies on the overall well-being of the people. Following, are three examples to illustrate the use of the Map in exploring the nexus between heritage conservation and well-being.

Lilong urban landscape, Shanghai, China

Let us revisit the programme to preserve the HUL of the lilong in Shanghai. An examination of the cost/benefit analysis sponsored by the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research in the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP) and conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Programme’s summer field studio indicates that the Heritage Map could be useful to understand further impacts from the study’s promoted outcomes and recommendations (WHITRAP 2014). The published study document describes an analysis that specifically mentions metrics based on social capital, historic/cultural preservation, sustainable environmental factors, and economics. The goal of the study was to find an economically feasible option for both historic preservation and sustainable development to occur within these historic neighbourhoods. The report details the costs and benefits using each metric to show how specific preservation policies could contribute to the programme. Using the Heritage Map, these same outcomes could be assessed as direct impacts on the community well-being. Instead of merely treating the outcomes as an indicator of economic feasibility, it could instead relate outcomes of economic viability based in community success and strength by visualizing an assessment where the community’s shared values are at the centre. In the current analysis, each metric is seen as an isolated impact on the neighbourhood. If the ring model of the Heritage Map were used, we could instead see how each metric interacted by ring weight (thicker weight for more positive impacts; thinner weight for less positive impacts) to assess it as a total programme outcome, not as individual pieces. The utility of a holistic review is that one component can be seen to have impact without overshadowing other values. We see the importance of values on social, psychological, and physical well-being factors in the environment. In the case of the lilong neighbourhoods, we can see the biggest impacts in the physical environment of the historic housing cluster, but also where economic changes may cause impacts to the psychological environment (see Figure 18.3).

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >