Conference topics


Abstracts and papers may be submitted under the following topics.

01- 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.

02- 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.

03- 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.

04- 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.

05- Heritage and culture

Culture is often mentioned as one of the pillars for Sustainable Development, in fact as the forth pillar, alongside with Environment, Economics and Society. Heritage 2016, following the path established by the previous Conferences, will welcome papers that address Cultural Heritage as a primary issue for Sustainable Development. Under this topic Authors are invited to submit papers on recent research work - both theoretical and/or applied - where Heritage and Cultural issues, and their interrelationship, are the the focus of discussion. In this sense, Cultural embraces a number of fundamental questions in present days communities, such us heritage preservation, heritage exhibition, heritage publication and heritage uses.
For this topic papers on material heritage and on intangible heritage will be accepted, since they focus on the central theme of this Conference: Heritage and Sustainable Development.

06- Heritage and education for the future

Despite not being considered per se as one of the main pillars for Sustainable Development, Education is in the centre of a major discussion on what concerns present days sustainable development. In fact, education can be perceived as a fundamental instrument preparing future generations for sustainable solutions and decisions; education can also be addressed as the only possible way to invert some of the wrong paths humankind has been choosing for the last decades and that are definitively risking the sustainability of the whole planet. As such, papers addressing education as one of the ways to use and preserve heritage, contributing for Sustainable Development, will be welcome in this Conference. Under this topic papers may address education as a theoretical issue or present case-studies, both on what concerns formal and non-formal education.

07- 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.

08- Heritage and cultural tourism

Cultural tourism has become one of the key factors for sustainable development in many regions. Both from the economic and cultural prespectives, among others, cultural tourism promotes the use of resources otherwise forgotten or under-explored enabling economic sustainability and providing funds for cultural activities. Cultural tourism have been gathering a larger and larger public during the last few decades and became, as such, a significant social and economical phenomenon. It deserves, within the realm of heritage and sustainable development studies a particular and focused attention, reason why the present edition of Heritage includes a Special Chapter dedicated to the theme. Papers submitted to this special chapter may include theoretical approches and applied research. Case-studies are also welcome.

09- Special Chapter: Heritage and authenticity

Authenticity is one of the key-words on present days discussion on heritage. Defining what is, and is not, "authentic" raises a number of serious issues, answers are not easy to reach and consensus is far from being achieved. Authenticity can be addressed as "historically true" or as depending on authorship... can be viewed as matter of "style" or as question of possession/property... can be an interpretation of material objects or a objectification of intangible concepts. In fact, authenticity is such a a complex domain that it deserves proper research and specific attention. Heritage 2016 wants to contribute to the discussion on these issues, under the umbrella of sustainable development - this special chapter aims at pushing forward a debate that is far from being a peaceful one.