Comprehensive Study of Different Attributes of Heritage Area Development

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTCONV10IS03044

Download Full-Text PDF Cite this Publication

Text Only Version

Comprehensive Study of Different Attributes of Heritage Area Development

Ar. Simran Surendra Patil

Student of Master of architecture (Urban Design)

G. S. Mandals Marathwada Institute of TechnologyBeed Bypass, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.

Prof. Pranita Pranjale

Associate Professor at Dept. of Architecture

  1. S. Mandals Marathwada Institute of TechnologyBeed Bypass, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.

    Abstract So much of our future lies in preserving our past (Peter Westbrook). Heritage sites includes social, cultural, and economic aspects which directs the dynamic and sustainable environment. Heritage value in todays context is challenged due to urbanization, population growth, social – cultural changes and environmental issues. While, urbanization is beneficial for many people and businesses, but on contrary it is affecting the urban heritage significance. The research aims at collecting different attributes which influences and affects the heritage area development. The primary objective of this research is to understand the heritage characteristics which affects the urban character of the heritage area. Many researchers have studied about the influencing factors and processes of heritage area development on various platforms. But this research paper includes the description of those factors and processes under one umbrella. The research will conclude on the account of analyzing the positive and negative aspects of the elements and processes of heritage area development. These factors play an important role and would help in the implementation of the planning process for sustainable urban growth and preservation of the heritage character.

    Keywords Heritage; sustainable; character; factors; processes

    1. INTRODUCTION Urbanization and globalization are the processes

      which we can regularly hear about these days. These are the processes which results into the change in the cultural and social values, and urban character as well as it is responsible for the increasing growth of commercialization. These urbanization forces are responsible for the recent heritage area development. Somewhere, this new development is creating a built environment considering only users requirement neglecting the overall urban character and local cultural and social values. Whereas in some cases, the development is more inclined towards the sustainability of the cultural, social and heritage values of the area.

      Now a days, there is an emergence of the heritage areas in front. These heritage areas are showcasing the heritage values which are impacting to the urban character as well to the development of that area. Due to the urbanization process, the cultural and social values are somewhere neglected which creates a need of heritage area development. These heritage areas remind us of the glorious and prosperous history of that place. There are communities involved in making the cultural and social values which are

      somewhere getting disturbed by this process of development. The economy of these communities is based on the businesses which are inherent in nature.

      So, within any heritage area there is a need of planning which will not disturb the historic, cultural, social, economic, and political values. Sustainability is also very important in any sort of planning process, and which should be incorporated in design proposal considerations.

    2. WHAT IS HERITAGE OF AN AREA? Heritage is a characteristic property which is being

      inherited. The property of something which is passes on generation to generation. This term has a very wide scope in terms of its definition. When the heritage of an area is discussed, the first thing which is talked about the buildings or the monument. But the heritage is not restricted up to this thing only, but it has different branches attached to it.

      While defining the heritage of an area, the two different parts of it must be understood first: tangible and intangible heritage. The tangible heritage is that which is present in the old buildings, natural sites, objects/artifacts, and urban character. And the intangible heritage discusses about the myths, legends and beliefs associated with that area, traditional knowledge present over there. Art, music, performing arts, fashion, language, events, food, celebrations/festivals, sports and games, designs, and crafts, etc. gives the essence of the communities present over there.

      This research paper deals with the different factors associated with the heritage area development as well as the processes which help in developing these heritage areas. These factors are the different terminology which are being used as far as the topic of heritage area development is concerned. Every adopted factor and process of heritage area development has both positive and negative impacts on the utilization of spaces.

      Factors associated with the heritage area development are:

      • Museality

      • Tourism

      • Adaptive reuse

      • Urban character

      • Imageability

      • Sustainability

        The processes which help in heritage area development are:

      • Rehabilitation

      • Preservation

      • Regeneration/renewal

      • Public participation



      1. Museality

        Museality means documentation of an object reality by representing it through another medium. Means if we are documenting the heritage of any area the medium of representing that heritage could be different. Ex. we can document the heritage by understanding the art culture of that area. There are various systems and patterns are used for the documentation of the museality means the transformation of the things happening over there. It is also used to give solution for the area. It is basically a system of documenting the data. Ex. The attribute system can be used to document the various heritage points of that area to understand the need of heritage area development of that place.

        • Positive points Documentation is very necessary before designing for heritage area to understand the need to develop the area. Ex. If the area does not contain any heritage value, then a contemporary solution could be given for the urban design to maintain its character. This process also helps to analyze the transformation process.

        • Negative points Though the process helps in analyzing the changing situation, but it would not help much in analyzing the situation which comes suddenly. The pattern of analyzing the data will change which might change the result.

      2. Tourism

        Tourism is the most important factor in the heritage area development. Considering the increasing growth of tourism, some heritage places are transforming and getting a new shape for the future. Although increasing wealth and leisure time have led to increased tourism, which has been the impetus for heritage planning, the relationship between planning, heritage, and tourism is one of paradox (Urry 1990) [2]. Newby (1994) identifies a complex relationship between heritage and tourism in which culture evolves from being a shared entity, to being exploited, and in extreme cases created [2]. Whenever culture is being shared by different communities, it creates a revenue which is helpful for the maintenance of the heritage of any place. However, when the culture is being exploited or created,

        commercialization of the heritage comes in the picture on which the local economy is based.

        Tourism aspect is purely based on te tourists will. There are certain factors which affects the tourism such as cultural activities, the dominant feature of the heritage which tourist want to see, etc. All these aspects decide the rate of tourists visits to that place. They wont come to such place where they will not get anything special or different to watch. Here, the commercialization comes in, where tourist less attracted towards the heritage value of that place.

        • Positive points Tourism will help to enhance the characteristic feature of a heritage area which in bad condition these days. It will also help to retain the character of the place by generating the revenues. Thee cultural, social identity will be sustained.

        • Negative points Impact of tourism will be responsible for the commercialization which might harm the heritage value of that place. Due to the addition of commercial activities surrounding the heritage area might harm the importance of themain heritage structure.

      3. Adaptive reuse

        Adaptive reuse means the change in the building use as per the requirement of the existing owner. Ex. An old haveli converted into a museum. It also plays a major role in the heritage area development. It helps in maintaining the heritage as well as the urban character of that place. For the change in building use, such buildings need a refurbishment or the retrofitting. This process not only preserves the heritage structure but also conserves the efforts and skills of the original builder. It also retains the architectural, social, cultural, historic value. It also adopts sustainability by doing this process of reuse.

        This process also helps in maintaining the old structure and the urban character which:

        • Reflects local community life

        • Improves quality of life

        • Maintains place identity, diversity, and vitality

        • Stops the degradation of the old structures

        • Empower community involvement

        • Help in policy framework and its application

        • Positive points It will help in retaining the urban character of that place as well the sustainability can be achieved through this. It will also play an important role in maintaining the imageability aspect of the area.

        • Negative points Change in building use will change the public facility requirements. Infrastructure lacking can be faced by the users. Ex. If a haveli is converted into the museum, the common requirement for the public like parking will be added.

      4. Urban character

        Urban character of any area is formed due to the same architectural, cultural, social, and historic values. It can be represented with the building style, or the communities, or other tangible and intangible heritage points of that place.

        This concept of urban character is associated with the theory of imageability. This urban character of any place can be seen as well as experienced. When this term is discussed the first thing comes into mind is the street. Street is walkable, livable due to its surrounding buildings and the users which are using that space. That is how, the whole urban character of that street is defined. To maintain such urban character heritage area preservation plays an important role. Ex. Preservation or the adaptive reuse of the old havelis can represent the urban character of that place. And hence heritage is also maintained. If the façade of any street having the heritage value in its architecture can also be preserved. And there the imageability theory can also be seen.

        • Positive points Image of that area is maintained as per the heritage values. The architecture, social, cultural, and historic values will not be challenged by this.

        • Negative points The scope for contemporary architectural development will be reduced.

      5. Imageability

        Imageability is a unit to visualize the physical object, environment to draw a mental image. This concept is very helpful creating a picture of an urban character of heritage area. It creates a mental image of a pattern, or the organization reflected from the area. It helps in understanding the surrounding architectural, social, cultural, and historic values for the future development of heritage area.

        This concept is a used in very selective cases. Ex. If a town have old havelis which reflects the history, culture, art, and architecture of the area, it can be called as heritage town. This concept is also helpful in the process of tourism.

        In this era of urbanization, the image of the heritage area is being neglected for the future development. This concept will help in maintaining the heritage values in terms ofarchitecture, art, culture.

        • Positive points the urban character of the place is maintained. The history, art, culture, architecture isretained.

        • Negative points The new contemporary development is somewhat restricted. The change in the users requirement will not fulfilled and matching up the rest of the area will not be possible.

      6. Sustainability

        Heritage is often the subject of debate regarding its meanings, conservation discourses, and the drivers behind management approaches (Fredholm, 2015; Smith, 2006) [9]. Sustainability of the heritage area is important for the social, environmental as well as economic growth. All these three aspects are inter-related. To keep the heritage area sustained in this continuous urbanization

        and development process is difficult. To counter this issue the three pillars model (Keiner, 2005; UNIDO, 2005) helps in clarifying the problems which are coming our way to sustainable development with respect to the three dimensions: environmental, economic, and social [9].

        The environmental dimension of three pillar model is concerned about the usage of natural resources and its condition. It also addresses the issue of pollution and changing environmental situation. This changing environmental situation is also responsible for the change in the urban fabric. The other dimension is economic. Built heritage is maintained with the help of generated revenue from the tourist. Some of the built heritage is maintained by the communities by giving some of the space of it to the commercial use. The last dimension of this model is social dimension. This will help in analyzing the quality of life in the heritage area. The tangible and intangible heritage are impacting it somehow.

        • Positive points Addressing the issue of sustainability is very important for any development because ultimately it is going to affect the environmental, social, cultural, economic, historicaldimensions.

        • Negative points the three-pillar model only talks about the three dimensions whereas the heritage area represents the rich history. This dimension should also be incorporated in this model.


      1. Rehabilitation

        Rehabilitation is the process of making the habitable space of the existing space. The old city area or the heritage area cant be completely preserved. There is a need of basic amenities for the communities over there who creates a social and cultural environment. So, whenever rehabilitation need to be done, then the whole heritage area should be taken not consideration rather than considering a single heritage building. This rehabilitation policies emphasizes on the comprehensive planning of the heritage and older area. In this process, the building with heritage values should be preserved to maintain the character. The building activities and building uses should be comprehensively planned for the rehabilitation process. There are several issues related to rehabilitation process approach:

        • Political aspects

        • Cultural aspects

        • Social aspects

        • Economic aspects

        • Urbanization aspects

        Considering thee aspects, the issues are analyzed and based on which the conclusion is derived. That conclusion is very helpful in planning process.

          • Positive points The urban character s maintained, and the basic infrastructure is provided for the communities. This will

            ultimately help in the growth of economy of that area.

          • Negative points Sustainability issue can be ignored if only present-day requirements are considered.

      2. Preservation

        Preservation of heritage area means preserving its character, cultural, social, and historic value of the place. Preserving these characters of the heritage area is challenging now-a-days due to the rapid urbanization. The occupational demand of the people is changing because it is affecting to their economy. Preservation should not be restricted to the individual buildings it must be of the whole heritage area. Because single building does not define the character of the whole area. Preservation is a part of urban conservation. If the heritage of the area is preserved, tourism will increase, and it will boost up the economy.

        There is certain heritage area which are not under the Government ownership, and they are not maintained by the Government, but it is of great historic importance. Preservation of such areas are very important. Even if the government is not maintaining those areas the communities are maintaining it. They are generating some revenues and using it for the preservation or the maintainance.

          • Positive points Preservation will help to conserve the heritage and will be necessary to prevent its urban character.

          • Negative points If preservation of the single building is emphasized the whole character of the heritage area would not be taken care off.

      3. Regeneration / renewal

        It a process of making policies and strategies for urban decay. For the heritage area, the building age are ore as compared to the newly developed area. So, sometimes there is a need of urban renewal over there. It is basically a comprehensive approach of planning where whole area is emphasized than giving importance to the single building structure. It also deals with the urban problems like the social, cultural, economic, physical, historic, and environmental. All these aspects are inter- related. It helps in maintaining the urban character of the whole heritage area.

        For the strategic planning of this kind of proposal, first the need of renewal should be understood. And the sustainable approach while designing and planning should be incorporated. There are certain challenges which need to be faced for this, but those challenges could be solved with the help of public participation. Ex. Rehabilitation of core heritage area to the outskirts of the city, the people would not accept this change as their source of income is completely based on the activities which are over there in the core area.

          • Positive points It helps in maintaining the social, cultural, environmental, and historic balance in the urban fabric. Proper survey method is used to understand its necessity.

          • Negative points if the sustainability approach is neglected the future problems in design and planning might occur.

      4. Public participation

      Public participation is the process where the users and the stakeholders get the right to participate in the planning process. It is a very interesting yet difficult process. Because as it was said, many people, many minds. In this process, the authorities first must create some ideas for the implementation. Then only they will be able to understand the behavioral pattern of the people. According to those behavioral patterns and the suggestions given by the local people, those ideas can be incorporated.

        • Positive points Peoples or the users perception about the design can be understood with the survey method. Analyzing those suggestions and behavioral pattern the planning proposal can begiven.

        • Negative points There are multiple minds involved in this the prioritization of the proposal becomes difficult. Because requirement of many peoples is different. Sustainability might get hampered.


      The whole analysis of the above study says that every aspect related to it has both the sides of the story. The positive side is pleasing but the negative side gives a chance to rethink on everything. In every design proposal of urban design, nothing is wrong but the thought process of everybody is different.

      When it comes to the heritage area development, the historic, cultural, social, physical, economic, and environmental aspects need to be enhanced at the priority. Because when we see heritage area development there, we need to maintain the urban character of such areas. But the character of it only be maintained if we will preserve those characteristics of heritage from decaying. And those are maintained by prioritizing the planning process.

      For any such development areas, first the users basic requirements need to be fulfilled. Those areas should be first functioned properly for giving any future proposals. Basic infrastructure will make it function as per the users requirements. Then preservation, tourism management of such areas comes into the picture. That is how the urban character will be maintained.


  1. A. B. Nelle, Museality in the urban context: An investigation of museality and musealisation processes in three Spanish-colonial World Heritage Towns, 2009 Palgrave Macmillan 1357-5317 URBAN DESIGN International Vol. 14, 3, pp. 152171.

  2. N. Nasser, Planning for Urban Heritage Places: Reconciling Conservation, Tourism, and Sustainable Development, Journal of Planning Literature, Vol. 17, No. 4 (May 2003), pp. 467-479.

  3. F. Steinberg, Conservation and Rehabilitation of Urban Heritage in Developing Countries, 1996 Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd, HABITAT INTL., Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 463-475.

  4. C. Tweed and M. Sutherland, Built cultural heritage and sustainable urban development, ELSEVIER, ScienceDirect, Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 83, Issue 1, 12 November 2007, pp. 62-69.

  5. L. Veldpaus, A. R. Pereira Roders and B. J. F. Colenbrander, Urban Heritage: Putting the Past into the Future, The Historic Environment, Vol. 4 No. 1, April 2013, pp. 318.

  6. S. Mosler, Everyday heritage concept as an approach to place- making process in the urban landscape, JOURNAL OF URBAN DESIGN, Volume24, 2019 – Issue 5, pp. 1-16.

  7. S. Y. Said, H. Aksah, E. D. Ismail, Heritage Conservation and Regeneration of Historic Areas in Malaysia, ELSEVIER, ScienceDirect, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 105 (2013) pp. 418 428, Volume 83, Issue 1, 12 November 2007, pp. 62-69.

  8. P. A. Bullen and P. E. D. Love, Adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Structural Survey Vol. 29 No. 5, 2011, pp. 411-421.

  9. P.C. Guzmán, A. R. P. Roders, B.J.F. Colenbrander, Measuring links between cultural heritage management and sustainable urban development: An overview of global monitoring tools, ELSEVIER, Cities, Volume 60, Part A, February 2017, pp. 192- 201.

  10. E. H. K. Yung and E. H. W. Chan, Problem issues of public participation in built-heritage conservation: Two controversial cases in Hong Kong, ELSEVIER, ScienceDirect, Habitat International, Volume 35, Issue 3, July 2011, pp. 457-466

  11. R. Shipley and M. Snyder, The role of heritage conservation districts in achieving community economic development goals, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 304321.

  12. H. Zeayter, A. M. H. Mansour, Heritage conservation ideologies analysis Historic urban Landscape approach for a Mediterranean historic city case study, HBRC Journal, Volume 14, 2018 – Issue 3, pp 345-356.

  13. J. Janssen, E. Luiten, H. Renes and J. Rouwendal, Heritage planning and spatial development in the Netherlands: changing policies and perspectives, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 121.

  14. E. H. K. Yung, Q. Zhang, E. H. W. Chan, Underlying social factors for evaluating heritage conservation in urban renewal districts, ELSEVIER, Habitat International, Volume 66, August 2017, pp. 135-148.

  15. S. Ismail and N.A. Mohd-Ali, The Imaging of Heritage Conservation in Historic City of George Town for City Marketing, ELSEVIER, Sciverse ScienceDirect, Procedia Engineering 20 (2011), pp. 339 345.

Leave a Reply