Use of Cultural Heritage for Place Branding in Educational Projects: The Case of Smederevo and Golubac Fortresses on the Danube
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Medieval fortresses represent an important tangible heritage of a nation’s culture and a valuable development asset for a particular destination on which its place-branding strategy for tourism could be built upon. Traditionally in Serbia, heritage protection and conservation have been mainly concentrated on the tangible aspects of cultural sites and monuments. Nevertheless, with the advent of urban heritage integration in the local sustainable development processes and place-branding strategies, a greater appreciation of the spirit of the place and its intangible components, as well as the need to adapt it to local contexts with more participatory forms of heritage planning, have started to emerge. A wide range of stakeholders brought the involvement and participation of both the local government and community members, including residents, as an indispensable element of the protection actions and broader urban development policies. The paper aims to validate the correlation between bo...th intangible and tangible cultural heritage and its contemporary use for place branding and tourism development. In doing so, we have employed the case study method on the two fortresses on the Danube in Serbia to show the ways in which local stakeholders have mobilized their forces in cooperation with the university to use their cultural heritage assets for tourism and more extensive sustainable territorial development. We have found that despite new inclusive forms of governance, which is attracting the attention of planning and heritage practitioners in Serbia, the contemporary approach of integrative protection and the intangible aspects of cultural heritage are still not fully utilized. For this reason, in this study, we consider methods based on environmental aesthetics approaches to cultural heritage that point out the significant inclusion of immaterial intangible cultural heritage in an unbreakable bond with material tangible heritage. The most remarkable result of our research is that while a vast number of stakeholders with local knowledge and sense of the spirit of the place have been involved in the planning process, intangible aspects of the analyzed heritage cases are present in educational projects, and are only partially present if it comes to implementation. This clearly demonstrates that the focus on tangible aspects and spatial interventions of the place branding of cultural heritage is still dominant in Serbia, despite acknowledgment of the economic and social aspects of sustainability in the planning phase in educational projects.
Keywords:tangible and intangible cultural heritage / place branding / educational projects / the Danube River / Smederevo Fortress / Golubac Fortress / cultural tourism / inclusive forms of governance and heritage planning
Source:Sustainability, 2019, 11, 19, 5234-
- Basel: MDPI