Title: Integrated Approach in Management of Coastal Cultural Heritage
Other Titles: Geïntegreerde aanpak voor het beheer van kust cultureel erfgoed
Authors: Khakzad, Sorna
Issue Date: 17-Jun-2015
Abstract: Humans have had a long history of interconnectedness with the sea and ocean due to the use of natural resources available in the coastal areas. These interactions have influenced the natural landscape and play a crucial role in the formation of coastal cultural heritage. Coastal cultural heritage, a continuum of land and sea, is an important part of our cultural resources in the coastal areas. Presently, coastal cultural heritage has not been well integrated into coastal management plans as a cultural resource. The qualitative and comparative analysis of coastal management experiences show that, despite the fact that holistic coastal management plans (such as integrated coastal zone management (ICZM)) have theoretically addressed the importance of cultural ecosystems, cultural resources have mostly been overlooked in these plans. Regulatory regimes and management strategies for land and sea are separate even though the line between the sea and land is arbitrary. Separation of regulatory regimes and management strategies for land and sea has hindered the ability to achieve an integrated approach for cultural heritage management in the coastal areas. This fact negatively affects the protection of coastal cultural heritage as an entity.
To achieve an integrated management, the present research identifies two sub-problems. One problem is with justifying values within integrative dimensions and understanding the role of these dimensions as control groups. The second problem is ambiguity in defining the coastal cultural area. Acknowledging the similarities between natural resources and cultural resources, this study relied on learning from natural resource experiences and adapting social theories for re-evaluating and re-defining coastal cultural heritage. Combining the applications of integrated complexity theory, social-cultural memory and theory of middle-ground proved to offer a powerful system for evaluation and defining coastal cultural heritage.
This dissertation offers two tools for the integrated management of coastal cultural heritage. One is an integrative evaluation system, and the other is a coastal cultural middle-ground model. The integrative evaluation tool provides a systematic method to address different concerns from natural, socio-economic, political and cultural dimensions. Nonetheless, designing and implementing such an integrated system for management of coastal cultural heritage may cause conflicts among different stakeholders. Therefore, in order to deal with these conflicts and promote a common understanding among different dimensions and disciplines, this dissertation adapted the theory of middle-ground. The aim was not only to mediate encounters among different stakeholders, but also to define an area of maximum cultural values for adaption of an integrated coastal management strategy. Adapting the theory of middle ground and taking into consideration and recognition the links and connections among people, their heritage, and the environment ultimately results in the formation of a definitive area of cultural values—or as it is called in this dissertation: coastal cultural middle ground. Delineating coastal cultural middle-ground highlights the importance of coastal cultural heritage as one entity in management schemes—not as separate entities on land and underwater.
In order to examine the proposed tools, the Belgian coast has been chosen as the case study. In line with the current project in Belgium—the SEARCH (Archaeological Heritage in the North Sea) project— which aims to develop an efficient evaluation method and proposals for sustainable management of coastal cultural heritage in the Belgian Part of the North Sea, the proposed methods will be tested for the Belgian coastal cultural heritage. The objective of this case study is to create a methodology that leads to a comprehensive understanding of many aspects and issues related to the management of coastal cultural heritage in Belgium.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Building Materials and Building Technology Section
Architecture and Society (+)

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