Sustainable Development in Rural and Peripheral Areas Through the Safeguarding of Their Immaterial Cultural Heritage

Miguel Reimão Costa, Susana Gómez Martínez, Aniceto Delgado Méndez, Catarina Alves Costa, Ana Costa Rosado, Blanca Del Espino Hidalgo

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This paper proposes a Southwestern Iberian perspective on the safeguarding of immaterial cultural heritage in rural and peripheral territories, addressing successful examples of safeguarding actions in different contexts of immaterial heritage study. While approaching different themes within the scope of immaterial heritage – techniques, music and rituals – the success of these examples shares many components. Among them, participation and appropriation by communities are fundamental to cultural heritage recovery and dissemination programs. The first part of the text focuses on traditional construction techniques, showing several programs with different levels of appropriation by the local population. Traditional construction techniques are a heritage tool of a particular relevance in the current context of climate change adaptation and sustainable edification. The second part of the text interprets various activities related to traditional music and dance, to analyse how they have evolved from an auxiliar daily activity to an identity symbol. Finally, the article delves into the safeguarding of festive rituals inside more or less benign circumstances, as local development programs or communities' relocation. Following the lessons learned from these somewhat disparate but productive initiatives, the article sets out a wider range of proposals, aiming to identify future tools for safeguarding and heritage management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11386
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalArchitecture, City and Environment
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Intangible cultural heritage
  • Local development
  • Peripheral areas
  • Rural heritage


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