Built heritage-making and socioeconomic renewal in declining rural areas: evidence from Portugal

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Abstract

This article focuses on the connections between built heritage making and socio-economic renewal in declining rural areas. Drawing on fieldwork in twelve rural villages in eastern Portugal, it sheds light on the outcomes of a State-led programme, the objectives of which were to renovate the historic built fabric and generate tourism revenue for a region with declining population levels. Overall, the programme was successful in terms of preservation / conservation of monuments and the built fabric, but failed to stimulate the anticipated social and economic development. The conclusion is that the making of heritage spaces is not the remedy for the economic and demographic ills of rural areas, notwithstanding the positive effect that such measures may have in certain cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-510
Number of pages23
JournalEtnográfica
Volume16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Built heritage sites
  • Rural tourism
  • Local impacts
  • Rural development
  • Public investments
  • Portugal
  • Historic Villages of Portugal

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