Forgetting intangible values and community: The case of heritage conservation policies in Cuenca, Ecuador

Title

Forgetting intangible values and community: The case of heritage conservation policies in Cuenca, Ecuador

AuthorNatasha Cabrera, Margarita Greene
Line(s)Entorno Construido
Year of Publication2024
Journal TitleJournal of Urban Management
Keywords
Urban heritage; Tourism; Planning; Historical centers.
AbstractThe relationship between heritage, conservation and tourism has determined countless actions on the historic centers of several cities in the world. In Latin America, governmental entities have set guidelines for urban heritage interventions through plans, programs and a variety of projects implemented in recent decades. The predominant emphasis of these actions has been on safeguarding tangible aspects of heritage, adhering to international conservation guidelines, and promoting tourism as a means to stimulate sustainable local development. However, a critical point of these efforts lies in the neglect of adverse social consequences imposed on local residents and communities. In this paper we consider a representative case: the heritage area of Cuenca in Ecuador, where an intervention took place starting with the UNESCO Declaration of the case study in 1999 until 2019. We characterize the process, analyze the incidence of planning instruments and identify the attributes that were enhanced as well as those that were suppressed through a historical review of current plans and executed projects. The results reveal the persistence of a conservationist and orthodox vision of heritage, which leads to the displacement of vulnerable groups. Hence, it is imperative to reevaluate intervention policies in the urban heritage context of Latin American cities like Cuenca.
Doihttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.jum.2023.12.004
Corresponding AuthorMargarita Greene, mgreenez@uc.cl