HERITAGE 2016 – 5th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development follows the path of the previous editions: it aims at maintaining a state of the art event regarding the relationships between forms and kinds of heritage and the framework of sustainable development concepts.
Once again it was decided that the four dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economics, society and culture) should be the pillars of this event defining a singular approach on how to deal with the specific subject of heritage sustainability. Furthermore, beyond the traditional aspects of heritage preservation and safeguarding, the relevance and significance of the sustainable development concept is to be discussed and scrutinised by some of the most eminent worldwide experts.
For a long time now heritage is no longer considered as a mere memory or a cultural reference, or even a place or an object. As the previous editions of “Heritage” (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014) have proven, heritage is moving towards broader and wider scenarios, where it becomes often the driven forces for commerce, business, leisure and politics. The Proceedings of the previous editions of this conference are the "living" proof of this trend.
Specialised research produced in recent years has remarkably expressed that sustainable development is being brought much forward than the concept expressed in the book “Our Common Future”, commonly known as “The Brundtland Report”. The role of culture and social aspects enlarged the initial statement where environment and economics had the main role. The environmentalist approach (conceiving the world as a whole ecological system) enhanced the idea of a globalized world, where different geographic dimensions of actions, both local and global, emerged as the main relationships between producers, consumers and cultural specificities of peoples, philosophies and religions. In such a global context heritage became one of the key aspects for the enlargement of sustainable development concepts. Heritage is often seen through its cultural definition and no further discussion seams to be appropriate. However, sustainable development brings heritage concepts to another dimension, as it establishes profound relationships with economics, environment, and social aspects.
Nowadays, heritage preservation and safeguarding is constantly facing new and complex problems. Degradation of Heritage sites is not any more just a result of materials ageing or environmental actions. Factors such as global and local pollution, climate change, poverty, religion, tourism, commodification, ideologies and war (among others) are now in the cutting edge for the emerging of new approaches, concerns and visions about heritage. Recent events in the Middle-East are saddling proving the rightness of these assertions and deserve our attention.
Thus, HERITAGE 2016 – 5th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development proposes a global view on how heritage is being contextualized in relation with the four dimensions of sustainable development. What is being done in terms of research, future directions, methodologies, working tools and other significant aspects of both theoretical and field approaches will be the aims of this International Conference. Furthermore, heritage governance, and education are brought into discussion as the key factors for enlightenment of future global strategies for heritage preservation and safeguarding.
A special chapter on Heritage and Authenticity was included in this edition, as 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 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.
As in the previous edition Early Stage Researchers are welcome to share the results of their research projects, namely post-graduation projects and doctoral projects, among others. Special registration conditions are previewed for their best contributions, under the Scientific Committee evaluation.