Heritage Literacy: A Model to Engage Citizens in Heritage Management

  • Darko BabićEmail author
  • Meltem Vatan Kaptan
  • Clara Masriera Esquerra
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Heritage management is a complex and demanding task; when successful, it will always show (either in the forefront or in the background) the compound multidisciplinary approach standing behind it. Heritage interpretation, not surprisingly, very often plays a key role in this process. Contemporary understanding of heritage management, by professionals as well as by laymen (since they are interconnected), must consider all the relevant (site/county/country/region) specific factors, foremost the social or economic ones beside essential preservation. Heritage management tends towards ensuring tangible (as well as intangible, or more precisely indirect) benefits for local communities and in this way towards the development of society in general. Critical heritage studies over the last few years have significantly influenced the perception of heritage, and consequently the essence of heritage management and heritage interpretation. Stress on the participative and inclusive approach has become crucial, where multi/polyvocality is (almost) self-evident. While the aforementioned words are regular buzzwords today, this article looks for their origins. Surprisingly, this practice could be easily tracked to the early 1970s and the eco-museums movement which is quite a revealing experience. We attempt to demonstrate how the practices of eco-museums could be interlinked with contemporary demands, the need for participative and inclusive heritage interpretation, and management approaches/practices. Finally, the paper will point forward the need for socially responsible heritage management which could indeed be recognised as a demand for heritage literacy and as a model/tool to mitigate diverse interests where contemporary heritage management is concerned.


Heritage literacy Eco-museum Heritage interpretation Polyvocality Participative approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darko Babić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meltem Vatan Kaptan
    • 2
  • Clara Masriera Esquerra
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Faculty of Architecture and DesignBahcesehir UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Facultat de LletresUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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