Heritage, Conservation and Communities

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Public participation and local community involvement have taken centre stage in heritage practice in recent decades. In contrast with this established position in wider heritage work, public engagement with conservation practice is less well developed. The focus here is on conservation as the practical care of material cultural heritage, with all its associated significance for local people. How can we be more successful in building capacity for local ownership and leadership of heritage conservation projects, as well as improving participative involvement in decisions and in practice?

This book presents current research and practice in community-led conservation. It illustrates that outcomes of locally-led, active participation show demonstrable social, educational and personal benefits for participants. Bringing together UK and international case studies, the book combines analysis of theoretical and applied approaches, exploring the lived experiences of conservation projects in and with different communities. Responding to the need for deeper understanding of the outcomes of heritage conservation, it examines the engagement of local people and communities beyond the expert and specialist domain.

Highlighting the advances in this important aspect of contemporary heritage practice, this book is a key resource for practitioners in heritage studies, conservation and heritage management. It is also relevant for the practising professional, student or university researcher in an emerging field that overarches professional and academic practice.

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