Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas : Assembling Cultural Heritage, Development and Spatial Planning [1 ed.] 9781443854122, 9781443852463

The number of cultural parks has been steadily increasing in recent years throughout the world. But what is a cultural p

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Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas : Assembling Cultural Heritage, Development and Spatial Planning [1 ed.]
 9781443854122, 9781443852463

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Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas: Assembling Cultural Heritage, Development and Spatial Planning


Pablo Alonso González

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas: Assembling Cultural Heritage, Development and Spatial Planning, by Pablo Alonso González This book first published 2013 Cambridge Scholars Publishing 12 Back Chapman Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2XX, UK British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Copyright © 2013 by Pablo Alonso González All rights for this book reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. ISBN (10): 1-4438-5246-5, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-5246-3


List of Illustrations .................................................................................... vii List of Tables and Shemes .......................................................................... ix Abstract ...................................................................................................... xi Resumen ................................................................................................... xiii Acknowledgements ................................................................................... xv Preface: Forty Years of European Cultural Landscapes .......................... xvii Joaquín Sabaté Bel Chapter One ................................................................................................. 1 Introduction 1.1 Aims ................................................................................................. 3 1.2 Methodology .................................................................................... 4 1.3 Some Remarks on Literature about Cultural Parks .......................... 5 1.4 Overview.......................................................................................... 7 Chapter Two .............................................................................................. 11 The Ambivalence of Landscapes: Between Representation and Reality 2.1. The Concept of Landscape ............................................................ 11 2.2 Managing Landscapes .................................................................... 15 Chapter Three ............................................................................................ 19 Territory and Heritage: From Cultural Landscapes to Cultural Parks 3.1 The UNESCO Framework ............................................................. 21 3.2 The National Park Service Framework .......................................... 22 3.3 Concluding Remarks on Landscapes ............................................. 23 Chapter Four .............................................................................................. 25 Charting the Path to Cultural Parks 4.1 Europe ............................................................................................ 25 4.2 United States .................................................................................. 28


Table of Contents

Chapter Five .............................................................................................. 31 Cultural Parks 5.1 From Definitions to Structures....................................................... 31 5.2 Institutions and Management Schemes in Europe and the United States ...................................................................... 33 5.3 The Inventory and the Story........................................................... 35 5.4 Objectives, Planning and Legislative Framework.......................... 36 Chapter Six ................................................................................................ 41 Some Issues for Discussion 6.1 Governmentality, Local Communities and Spatial Planning ......... 41 6.2 Preservation through Change? ....................................................... 45 6.3 A Story for whom?......................................................................... 49 6.4 Nature – Culture and the Conflict over Representation ................. 52 6.5 Economic Forces and Cultural Parks ............................................. 54 Chapter Seven............................................................................................ 59 A New Concept of Cultural Parks: Towards an Ethnographic Methodology 7.1 Assembling Cultural Parks............................................................. 60 7.2 An Ethnographic Methodology for the Analysis of Cultural Parks ............................................................................................... 65 Chapter Eight ............................................................................................. 67 Conclusions Appendix A: Definitions of Landscape ..................................................... 71 Appendix B: Definitions of Cultural Landscape ....................................... 73 Appendix C: Definitions of Cultural Parks and Heritage Areas ................ 75 Appendix D: The Val di Cornia Cultural Park. Case Study Analysis ....... 79 Appendix E: Tables and Schemes ............................................................. 87 Appendix F: Images ................................................................................ 115 Bibliography ............................................................................................ 119


Image 1. Camín de la Mesa Cultural Park (Asturias, Spain). Images 2 & 3. The textile colonies of the Llobregat River.


Table 1. Main definitions established by the European Landscape Convention. Adapted from ‘European Landscape Convention’ (Council of Europe, 2000). Table 2. The table shows the formulation put forward by Joaquín Sabaté and Dennis Fenchman of cultural landscapes as a socially constructed expression of a ‘real place’. This binary conceptualisation is problematic as it reinstates new dichotomies while trying to overcome the previous ‘modern’ ones. Adapted from Sabaté (2004b). Table 3. Table with the categories of cultural landscapes defined by UNESCO. Adapted from Fowler (2003). Table 4. Table with the categories of cultural landscapes defined by the National Park Service. Adapted from Birnbaum (1996). Table 5. The table compares N.P.S. and UNESCO frameworks on cultural landscapes. Adapted from Fowler (2003) and Birnbaum (1994). Table 6. Development of Heritage Areas and Cultural Parks. NHA: National Heritage Area NHC: National Heritage Corridor NHD: National Heritage District SHP: State Heritage Park OAM: Open Air Museums EC: Ecomuseum FP: Fluvial Park, WHS :World Heritage Site, AP: Agricultural Park, LP, landscape Park, CP: Cultural Park. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Table 7. A classic model of protected areas. Adapted from Phillips (2002). Table 8. The main elements of the novel paradigm for protected areas. Adapted from Phillips (2002). Table 9. Summary of the main arguments put forward by different authors to explain or contextualize the appearance of cultural parks. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Table 10. National Heritage Areas: year of designation and State. Source: Table 11. Management framework of Heritage Areas and Cultural Parks. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Table 12. Heritage practices according to communicative and formal potential. From Sabaté (2004b). Table 13. Projects classified according to their topological shape. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.


List of Tables and Schemes

Table 14. Classification according to the prevailing type of heritage resource. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Table 15. Classification according to the predominant stated objective of the project. However, in most cases all objectives are interrelated. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Table 16. Classification according to the territorial scope of the project. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Table 17. Summary of differences between park management frameworks. Adapted from Phillips (2003). Table 18. Evolution of management practices during the last decades. Adapted from Sally Jeanrenaud (2002). Scheme 1. Tentative classification of cultural Parks according to the negree of abstraction of the story. Source: author. Scheme 2. Scheme summarising Joaquin Sabaté’s view of cultural parks according to his ‘ideal cultural park’ formulation. Source: author from Sabaté (2004b). Scheme 3. The scheme shows the different conceptions of the functioning of language according to Saussure and Hjemslev. Source: author. Scheme 4. Michel Foucault’s disciplinary system assemblage. Adapted from Foucault (1975). Scheme 5. Karl Palmas’ ‘modern corporation’ model of assemblage. Adapted from Palmas (2007). Scheme 6. The image shows an ideal formulation of a cultural park conceived as an ‘assemblage’ following the ideas of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. Source: author. Scheme 7. The scheme shows an ideal formulation of the diagram in a cultural park. The diagram does not reinstate binary thinking but rather traces how the social actors create and put to work these dichotomies. Moreover, it does so according to degrees of intensity and not to clearcut categories. No real park ever entirely coincides with either category, only approaching the different categories as a limit: the park becomes more or less preservative or creative depending on the degree to which it approaches the connections laid out for it by a social group. The scheme shows the most common oppositions at work in cultural parks that play a key role in their constitution and functioning. Source: author. Scheme 8. Scheme showing the administrative framework of the Val di Cornia Partnership Park. There is a clear division between nature and culture management and between issues of ‘heritage” and “marketing’. Source: adapted from (Casini & Zucconi, 2003).


The number of cultural parks has been steadily increasing in recent years throughout the world. But what is a cultural park? The aim of this dissertation is to provide an answer to this question or at least to set out the basis for an academic debate that moves beyond technical narratives that have prevailed to date. It is important to open up the topic to academic scrutiny given that cultural parks are becoming widespread devices being employed by different institutions and social groups to manage and enhance cultural and natural heritage assets and landscapes. The main problem to deal with is the predominant lack of theory-grounded, critical reflection in the literature about cultural parks. These remain largely conceived as technical instruments deployed by institutions in order to solve an array of problems they must deal with. Also, cultural parks are overall regarded as positive and constructive tools whose performance is associated with the preservation of heritage, the overcoming of the nature/culture divide, the reinforcing of identity and memory and the strengthening of social cohesion and economic development. This dissertation critically explores these issues through the analysis of the literature on cultural parks. Also, it provides a novel theoretical conceptualization of cultural parks that is connected and underpins a tentative methodology developed for their empirical analysis.


El número de parques culturales ha aumentado de modo estable en los últimos años en todo el mundo. Pero, ¿qué es un parque cultural? El objetivo de esta investigación es dar una respuesta a esta cuestión o, al menos, sentar las bases para un análisis del fenómeno que vaya más allá de las narrativas técnicas sobre parques culturales que han prevalecido hasta el momento. Es importante abrir el tema al escrutinio académico ya que los parques culturales se han convertido en instrumentos cada vez más comunes empleados por instituciones y grupos sociales para gestionar y poner en valor paisajes y elementos patrimoniales tanto naturales como culturales. El principal problema que debemos hacer frente es la falta de reflexiones críticas con planteamientos teóricos fuertes en la literatura sobre parques culturales. Estos son generalmente concebidos como herramientas técnicas puestas en marcha por ciertas instituciones de cara a resolver un conjunto de problemas que tienen que hacer frente. Además, los parques culturales son generalmente vistos como entes constructivos y positivos, asociados con ideas de preservación patrimonial, con la superación de la dicotomía naturaleza – cultura, el refuerzo de la identidad y la memoria local y el incremento de la cohesión social y económica de cara al desarrollo. Esta investigación explora críticamente estas cuestiones a través del análisis de la literatura sobre parques culturales. Igualmente, ofrece una conceptualización teórica de los parques culturales que pretende conectarse y sentar las bases de una metodología para su análisis empírico sobre el terreno.


I am grateful to Caja España for its financial support through the ‘Caja España Award 2010’ programme. I would also like to express my appreciation to Peterhouse for the financial and academic support. Thanks to Joaquín Sabaté Bel, from the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, for the long discussions about cultural parks and for kindly letting me consult his documentation. Thanks, lastly, to Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Dacia Viejo-Rose, Alberto Martí and Margarita Fernández Mier for their comments and support.

PREFACE FORTY YEARS OF PROPOSALS IN EUROPEAN CULTURAL LANDSCAPES JOAQUÍN SABATE BEL CHAIR OF URBANISM, POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF CATALONIA FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABORATORY OF CULTURAL LANDSCAPES AND DIRECTOR OF IDENTIDADES: TERRITORIO, CULTURA, PATRIMONIO One should receive with great interest this text by Pablo Alonso, from the University of Cambridge. One should do so because, may be due to the relative novelty of the topic he addresses, we still lack theoretical reflection. It is also interesting because Pablo Alonso provides us with a critical standpoint, ranging between the fields of archaeology and anthropology. Three years ago, I presented at the 5th Industrial Heritage Congress (TICCIH) a synthetic balance of the evolution during the last decades in Spain of what I called the “landscapes of work”, the framework in which they had operated and the most relevant interventions.1 I highlighted, first, the role of certain agents that created a “climate of opinion” that contributed to a growing interest on this kind of heritage (professionals, scholars and research centers). We studied the regulatory framework for these initiatives. We discovered how in just a few years, interventions grew in complexity and scale: form the first inventories, catalogues and documentation tasks; to isolated recovery and reutilization projects of singular buildings; to larger plans that integrated industrial 1

I refer not only to industrial heritage, but also to mining, agriculture, infrastructures (everything related with transforming the territory). So the expression “work landscapes”, similar to cultural landscapes, that I have used in different articles, following Carl Sauer, becomes even more useful that just “industrial landscapes”. See Benito and Sabaté (2010).



heritage in more ambitious development processes; to regional projects where cultural heritage became the backbone of the intervention and the engine for economic development. We concluded arguing that cultural heritage should play an equivalent role in every regional plan, as natural resources have achieved, that both culture and nature become fundamental underpinnings in all our territorial interventions. And therefore this text defends the need of a comprehensive approach.

1. An Assessment of Interventions in Cultural Landscapes When Pablo Alonso asked me to draft this introduction, I thought that carrying out a comparative analysis of fifty European experiences of cultural landscapes and cultural parks could be a complement to his exposition. Although I analyze proposals in other parts of the world, I will focus in Europe, considering the similitudes in terms of scale, context and characteristics of the resources being enhanced in each case.2 Forty years ago the first recovery projects in New Lanark, Ironbridge Gorge and Le Creusot started, followed by many other experiences with more or less similar patterns. As in previous works (Sabaté and Schuster, 2001), I focused in four major fields: context, structure of the proposal, goals and management model. From that first study on American and European cultural landscapes, we concluded with a Decalogue of lessons 2

We considered among others following cases: Union Canal, New Lanark and Dunaskin Open Air Museum (Scotland); Rhondda Heritage Park (Gales); bridge Gorge, Cornwall, Lacashire HCL, Countryside Stewardship Wigmore, Peak District NP, Severn Vyrnwy Shropshire, Avebury-Silbury Valley, Beamish Open Air Museums and West Devon Mines (England); Canal du Midi, Saline Royale, Le Creusot, Causses and Cévennes, Valle del Loira and Sant Emilion (France); Dresden Elbe Valley, Dessau-Wörlitz, Muskauer Park, Emscher Park, Siebenbürgen, Kalkriese, Nordstern Landscape Park y Lausitz Lake (Germany); Waterlinie; Leidsche Rijn, Middag-Humsterland, Noordwest-Overijssel, Willemsoord Naval Dockyards, Church footpaths in the Achterhoek región, Des Beemsters, Groenblauwe Slinger and Limes (Holland); Cinque Terre, Pastorale Tuscany, Cilento, Rhaetian Railway, Val d’Orcia, Parques Ciaculli, Fluvial Po and Milano Sud (Italy), Tokaj Wine Region and Hortobágy Puszta (Hungary), Sintra, Alto Douro and Paisagens du Xisto (Portugal), Salt Pans of Seccovlje (Istria), Rosia Montana (Transylvania), Neusiedler See, Wachau and Hallstatt-Dachstein (Austria); Southern Öland, Gränsland, Kânlingãn, Brugsbygd, Kristiansand, Canal Strömsholm and Bergsladen (Sweden); Lavaux (Suiza); Lednice-Valtice (Chequia); Stari Grad (Croacia) Paisajes Culturales de Aragón, Aranjuez Parque Agrario del Baix Llobregat, Alba-Ter; Serra de Tramuntana, Ter and Llobregat Colonies (Spain).

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or good practices. Now I would like to reconsider and complement some of those conclusions. However, I would like first to introduce briefly some of the analyzed cases. In all of them, we paid attention to their history, to the area where they are implemented, to their form and size, to their heritage resources, to the intervention scale and topology, and to the social agents that drive the process, their goals and management.

2. A Brief Overview of Some Cases New Lanark New Lanark is one of the few case studies whose scope is relatively small, being limited to the area occupied by the textile colony raised by David Dale in the late eighteenth century on the banks of the River Clyde, between Glasgow and Edinburgh. However, Robert Owen gave a clear boost to the development of the colony between 1800 and 1824. In particular, to the activities organization, building schools, kindergartens, cooperatives and the unique “Institute for the formation of the character”. His visionary character, halfway between utopian socialism and paternalism, moves him later to the founding of New Harmony (U.S.), based on the suppression of private property. Several entrepreneurs preserve Owen’s legacy in New Lanark, but successive cotton crisis led to the closure of the last spinning mills in 1968. In a narrow river valley a few buildings remain that have hosted looms and services (cooperatives, school, Institute), plus a half dozen rows of four floors and other paired smaller residential buildings. Still in 1950s, they housed more than five hundred people, but only fifty people twenty years later. The increasing decline of the area triggered the first recovery efforts, working on the original typological basis. We may classify the project as a local scale one with a nodal topology, despite the linearity that the river valley confers to it. I would like to emphasize three aspects of the recovery proposal. First, its understanding of heritage that goes beyond the architectonical object and highlights the whole urban structure. Second, the new uses of the buildings as visitor centers, museums, accommodation facilities or convention rooms. Third, a narrative focused on the everyday experience of a girl in the golden age of the colony, the legacy of Owen and the process of cotton production. In recent years, the brand of “New Lanark Organic Wool” has been promoted in a way that renews the textile tradition.



As in most cases, recovery efforts stem from local actors, in this case from local residents and the company with the ownership over the buildings. Soon some politicians, the city council and the Scottish government were interested, but at all times the representatives of the residents through the housing association played a fundamental role. The first objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the residents, and to recover immediately most of the built heritage finding new uses that assure their maintenance and the stabilization of the population in the long term. Another key strategy is to exploit the image of Robert Owen, due to the appeal of his legacy. In 1963, The New Lanark Association was constituted in Glasgow, acquiring the housing facilities and developing a pilot rehabilitation plan. However, they cannot stop the deterioration and impairment of the facilities. A timely article denouncing the serious threat on the site triggered a major reaction from the Scottish Civic Trust and to the constitution of a working meeting involving public and private actors to carry out a long and successful restoration process. To do so, strategies of employment promotion and management betterment were set up, finding collaboration among residents, local businesses and different levels of the government. Dodging the potential threats that the nomination as World Heritage Site (2001) normally entails, New Lanark started to increase the sentiment of pride of the residents, and the number of tourists increased vastly. Today, it has become one of the most visited sites in the country.

Le Creusot The area of Le Creusot-Montceau-Les Mines covers about 390 km2 in seven municipalities, which now house some 100,000 inhabitants. Between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, driven largely by the saga of the Schneider, it becomes an important production center of ceramic, glass and steel, favored by the local availability of coal. This resulted in an impressive industrial heritage, spectacular ovens, workers villas, houses and palaces, churches, a mining railway and the impressive Canal du Centre, part of the system that crosses France from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. However, as in many other productive areas, the successive crisis throughout the XX century gradually led to the closure of factories and villages, along with the destruction of heritage and therefore the first rehabilitation proposals with three basic axes. First, a topology that recognizes the diversity of cultural resources and their multi-modal disposition, connecting them by train, canal, car or pedestrian circuits,

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with diverse museums (glassmaking, mining, school system, forging, pottery, the canal, etc.) and interpretation centers scattered throughout the area. In addition, the application of the innovative concept of the Ecomuseum, introduced in 1971 by Hughes de Varine and Georges-Henri Rivière, developed henceforth in Le Creusot. It represents the history of the region and its inhabitants, considering the entire community as a living museum. The Eco-Museum Association exists since 1973. It was developed by scholars from the University of Burgundy in collaboration with local agents. However, the consolidation of the research center, the seminal conferences on industrial heritage and a sustained project of outreach did not prevent the destruction of numerous industrial buildings. More than a quarter century of grassroots efforts to put forward the rehabilitation project were necessary to gain recognition from the DATAR (Delegation for spatial planning and regional actions) as a heritage economic area. Thereafter, the Eco-museum association received a decisive boost through a contract among different administrations and entities with the basic objective of supporting the productive activity and the enhancement of industrial heritage as a distinctive mark to attract investments and tourism.

Ironbridge Gorge A watercolor by Elijah Martin, dated around 1774, is the first witness of the building process of one of the milestones in the history of engineering: Ironbridge, designed to cross the river Severn. It was the first in its kind to be cast in iron, and it stands out for its beauty and the bold design of Pritchard, although it is quite oversized. Abraham Darby III, blacksmith master and grandson of the first person to melt iron with coke, risked his business assuming any excess over the estimated budget, and bankrupted because of the doubling of expected costs and materials. This bridge connects two of the great centers of the nascent British Industrial Revolution (Coalbrokdale and Brooseley). Known today as Ironbridge, an area of only twenty acres around the River Severn of small perpendicular axes comes to house furnaces and foundries, the mansions of the owners and master smiths, workers' settlements, along with pottery and porcelain factories. The limited scope of the site drives to a multimodal structure of reinterpretation, linking ten museums, a library, an information center, two hotels, archaeological sites, historic forests, houses, chapels, and former Quaker cemeteries, with a dozen crossing routes. Ironbridge also assumes the concept of the Eco-museum, as it adds



value to a territory where the memory of work is manifested in each structure. As in many other occasions, the early promoters of the project are historians and grassroots militants of industrial archeology, which strenuously work on the recovery of factories and machinery and the dissemination of industrial techniques. After a first stage, the objectives focused on the development of culture and tourism management, with emphasis on museology and cultural economy in order to promote local development. Ironbridge Gorge Museum is now the largest private exhibition center in the U.K. as the foundation that manages it receives no regular funding from the administration. Its operating expenses are covered with tickets and commercial activities and development through grants and donations. A group formed by public and private bodies, including local authorities and landowners, manages the entire heritage site. In addition, the nomination as World Heritage Site caused a positive effect, increasing the number of visits to more than 300,000 annual arrivals. Nevertheless, perhaps the most striking aspect is the accurate portrayal of an epic that changed the future of industrial development.

Emscher Park The Emscher Park stretches along some 80 km of the basin of the Emscher River in the Ruhr district. With an average width of 18 km, includes 17 settlements and a combined population of over two million people. It is therefore one of the most extensive work landscapes among those studied. The availability of coal allows an extraordinary industrial development and leads to such important companies as Krupp, Thyssen, Ruhrkole or Bayer, to name a few. Here the legacy of mines and steel industry of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries meets one of the most famous monuments of industrial architecture. However, the obsolescence of many activities in the late eighties and the closure of factories led to the decadence of the territory between Duisburg and Dortmund, a dense area of buildings full of wounds of industrial and mining development, highly degraded and defiled. In this context was born the IBA Emscher Park in 1988 with a dual purpose. First, to impulse proposals for the renewal of the basin. Second, to promote an international debate on territories with similar characteristics. Successive projects recognize the multimodal structure of populations and industrial areas, the backbone role played by the Emscher River, and the existence of a set of open spaces that have been maintained thanks in large

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part to the quality of the urban and territorial plans of Robert Schmidt, before and after the First World War. The IBA Emscher Park proposes six lines of action: landscape reconstruction, ecological water requalification, economic restructuring, industrial heritage preservation, housing renovation and restoration of social cohesion. To do so the first step is finding a viable strategy for ecological, economic, and social renewal of degraded industrial areas. It is based primarily on a coordinated action (renewal of housing units and open spaces and industrial heritage preservation); in linear operations (defining a set of pedestrian and bike paths, Emscher river regeneration and adaptation as a leisure space of the Rhein-Herne canal); in nodal proposals (railway stations, service areas and new forms of production), and in developing and reusing old industrial facilities). Many of these projects were commissioned to renowned architects and became icons of the reinterpretation of industrial remains. The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia is the promoter of a ten-year program (1989-1999), although a planning institution implements the tasks. Municipalities, businesses and citizen groups develop projects and seek funding sources, although in the larger scheme the spatial planning office is involved as well as state and local authorities. Nonetheless, one of the most widespread criticisms of the IBA Emscher Park lies in the disproportionate investment that has received from the state. In any case, this has resulted in one of the most spectacular recovery processes of a working landscape.

Waterlinie Holland is famous for its secular struggle against water, but sometimes it has used it as an ally. To avoid being invaded by foreign armies in the eighteenth century a “secret weapon” was designed: an area of 3-5 miles wide that crosses the whole country and could be flooded. Generally, it is no more than 40-80 centimeters deep, but in some places more, enough to make it impassable. It is controlled by a complex system of dams, locks and canals reinforced by fortifications, bunkers and shelters. When the Dutch feared the arrival of enemy the flooding process began. It took two or three days, and in several occasion this Waterlinie has had the opportunity to demonstrate its effectiveness. Today this defense system no longer needs to fulfill its original function. In addition to a rich diversity of infrastructure, it has left behind five beautiful fortified cities and a rich landscape, heavily influenced by the constraints to build around each fort. Therefore, this heritage is revaluated as an identity mark, considering that the Waterlinie contributes



significantly to the recovery of collective memory, while constituting a useful tool for facing one of the biggest challenges of the country: the management of water. The recovery process of this amazing heritage is carried out through a National Plan (Nota Belvedere). The topology of the proposal is significantly defined by the "invisible" defensive line and by isolated and sequential arrangement of defensive constructions (multimodal). The recovery project is based on a detailed recognition of the Waterlinie in its role as an ecological corridor and as a reference landscape. Moreover, it is grounded on three overlapping types of interventions: new water storage systems and tools for the control of periodic flooding; seven major parks, nature conservation and agricultural areas, growth regulations of the coastal villages, tourist nodes associated with the reinforcement of the significance of the Waterlinie crossings with highways and trains. In each of the forts, museums, residential, recreational and ecological areas are proposed. In recent years, many of these buildings have been recovered, with different outcomes and diverse uses. It has had to do with the determined and enthusiastic participation of many different administrations. This would be the most remarkable feature about the management, which is implemented by the State through a territorial plan that combines the efforts of five ministries, five provinces and twenty-five municipalities. Today, the Waterlinie constitutes a successful project with museums, information centers, wineries and country hotels, with guided tours and festivals that attract the attention of many visitors. It is part of a network of trails. However, it is more relevant that it recovers the testimony of the titanic struggle of the Dutch with water, in this case taking advantage of it.

Heritage axes of the rivers Ter and Llobregat In the second half of the nineteenth century, Catalonia witnessed a concentration of textile colonies along the river axes. In two of them (the Berga-Navas stretch of the Llobregat river and the upper reaches of TerFreser) a singular spatial planning figure has been approved recently: the industrial heritage urban master plan (PDU). Revaluation initiatives spring from much earlier. In the case of the Llobregat, they concentrate mainly in a stretch of just thirty kilometers, which boasts an extraordinary heritage comprising fourteen industrial colonies. In the upper reaches of Ter, twenty small colonies were identified, in addition to thirty factories and numerous river small hydroelectric factories. However, over time the market changes left no

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room for these particular forms of dispersed industrialization. Electricity enabled the settlement of factories anywhere and thus the old colonies and many farming areas around them decayed and stopped functioning. Work disappeared and with them many habitants of these villages that appeared exploiting water energy. Between 2005 and 2007 the first master plan for the Llobregat was developed and two years later the second one for the Ter-Freser river. Those projects are geared towards the preservation, enhancement and structuring of the industrial heritage along the basins. The planning figure was halfway between the urban and the territorial scales, working with a geographic unit that allowed a comprehensive understanding of the fluvial landscape and the detailed regulation of each colony at the same time. In both cases, a project was put forward which combines the linear topology with the multimodal character of the valleys. The main objective of the proposed interventions can be summarized with the statement "a lively colony requires a factory alive." Thus emerged the idea of promoting valued-added uses to foster economic, touristic and residential dynamics that allowed small entrepreneurial initiatives and changes from industrial to tertiary and residential uses. This implied the conversion of the colonies into modern neighborhoods with good equipments that could attract people, along with public services, public transport, etc. The project had to face the limited demographic and economic resources, heritage deterioration and the shortages of all kinds of resources, and therefore point at a model halfway between transformation and conservation that could attract both public and private interests. Urban improvement of the economic colonies is linked to their economic promotion, to sectors that can generate wealth and reinvest. In addition, this leads to define precise growth rules, compositional criteria based on rigorous analysis. Moreover, it favors the reactivation of economy through design processes grounded on cultural tourism that attract new economic activities to the old factories. As on many other occasions, and particularly in the Llobregat River, the enthusiasm of local agents and grassroots in defense of industrial heritage is at the basis of all initiatives. Their efforts coalesced in the consolidation in 2003 of a consortium of the Llobregat River Park, formed by the Catalan Government, the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Regional Council and various organizations representing local society, which has continued carrying out further interventions. This consortium is responsible for the economic promotion, the preservation and dissemination of natural and cultural heritage and for the management coordination of the overall structure of the park.



3. Some Thoughts on the Sample Territory, resources and topology of the project The analyzed areas reveal a clear disparity in terms of shape and size, but generally, we can distinguish their remarkable extension. This is due to the significant size of farming or mining areas and to the large size of nineteenth-century industrial complexes. Also, to the synergistic combination of different activities (coal and iron in Ironbridge Gorge or Emscher Park, coal, glass and foundry at Le Creusot), or to the extended organization in low river valley flat lands of factories or colonies that build waterfalls to move their machinery. We found regional heritage corridors (Llobregat, Emscher Park), and others of a practically national scope (Canal du Midi, Waterlinie), or even international (Camino de Santiago). Thus, large industrial, mining or agricultural areas predominate, along with historic routes evolving in parallel to fluvial lines. If we look at the kind of resources that have been employed, we can mostly recognize industrial landscapes, but also mining and agricultural although to a much lesser extent. We also found some cultural heritage projects that were based on more “traditional” resources (archaeological, religious, military, or in general, architectural). Other projects develop heritage routes with different motivation (in a range that runs from religious to commercial) or essentially linked to axes of major transport (canals, railways) or defensive structures. Finally, we find a small number of projects at a local, smaller-scale, usually confined to an historical event or figure, or to an activity of a reduced scope. Therefore, we propose a tentative classification: landscapes of work (industrial, mining, agricultural), archaeological or architectural parks, heritage routes, infrastructure landscapes, and heritage scenarios. The proposals try to recognize the shape of each territory and therefore linear and multimodal topologies tend to predominate, despite the nodal becomes more common at the local scale. However, most projects tend to adopt a mixed topology articulating a comprehensive set of benchmarks on a remarkable extend, but recognizing the lineal and unifying dimension a river, or a road, canal or railroad.

Structure of the proposal We should first establish a clear distinction between functional and interpretive structures. Most heritage parks emphasize the need to tell a story: that of the epic that involves the construction of a landscape, the

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


explanation of human efforts and technical advances that gave sense to it, the intentioned presentation of a period and its ways of life (usually in very hard conditions). The narrative is therefore fundamental, and it is usually rigorous and well documented. Most projects usually go for a very specific interpretation, one that allows making the best out of the available resources. Those narratives can include the contribution of women or of foreign communities in the industrial development of a region, the daily life in the textile colonies, the organization a rural community, the importance of a channel as transport and supply system, the rich traditional technique of exploitation of the salt or the solemnity of the first cast iron. This interpretation is essential to correlate spatially distant resources, to reinforce them and to position the tourist, the visitor or the researcher in relation to a general script. The analysis of functional structures allows us to confirm the existence of certain recurrent components, which in turn equate to the five elements of the syntax proposed by Kevin Lynch in his book The image of the city (1960): a) The global scope and the sub-areas of the park - Areas (regions) b) Their heritage resources and services - Milestones (landmarks) c) Doors and accesses, interpretation centers and museums - Nodes (nodes) d) The roads linking all of the above - Routes (paths) e) The visual and administrative boundaries of the intervention Borders (edges) With the analysis of so many cases, we can go further in the conclusions of previous research: a) We can recognize how the growing experience allows refining the results; how from the initial collections of objects we evolve to more and more sophisticate and interactive museums; how the concept of Ecomuseum appears and develops. b) Restoration and conservation efforts are leaving behind the objectifying and “fossilizing” tendencies, recognizing the impossibility of reconstructing the “old” when addressing the restoration of facilities of colossal size. This has been so thanks to the incorporation of the lessons learned in previous decades, especially from those debates regarding the preservation of historic centers and the possibility of building a “new heritage”, and with the extension of the principle of “preservation through transformation”.



c) We also discovered the relevance of an adequate “rhythm” in the projects, understood as the precise one to recognize and appreciate a landscape. We checked the principle we proposed years ago, that the route requires the same speed, and, if possible, the same transport means of the period when the resources were created. Accordingly, the story can be conveyed in different ways: through promenades and tracks, in a horse carriage, in a bicycle or a steam train. We can clearly appreciate the lesson of Lowell: that the understanding of territories and resources requires visiting them at the speed with which they were conceived. Similarly, there is good use of tracks in the Manresa Canal trail and the Boston Freedom trail, and an intelligent use of wagons in New Lanark or bicycle paths along the Waterlinie or Canal du Midi, or in so many rehabilitations of railways, horse cars, barges or trams tracks. d) The ability to create “satellite” structures to the main narrative of the heritage parks has extended. We call “satellites” the resources that, despite their importance and remarkable artistic or historical value, are far from the main routes or not directly related to the chosen narrative (a Romanesque chapel in a valley that aims to explain the textile industrial development). Instead of giving up enhancing those resources, projects try to link them to the main narrative through secondary routes e) There are growing capacities to apply the lessons of Kevin Lynch, including his design criteria, trying to make the best of projects in terms of perception and visual impact, enhancing its functional and narrative structure.

Agents, objectives and management In diverse projects on cultural landscapes, we can recognize well different targets. In occasions, preservation of the cultural resources prevails, while in other contexts the enhancement or economic recoveries, the education of the population or leisure aspects are emphasized. However, the dissemination of proposals and studies shows that the most relevant projects tend to combine these four lines. In the U.S., most the proposals are promoted by local agents and managed by foundations or non-profit entities, with the exception of those promoted by the National Park Service. In Europe predominates the confidence in public administration (national, regional or local), or even the conviction of its sole responsibility to take over heritage preservation. Anyway, if you consider the geographic location of the various examples and their cultural differences, or the tendencies that show recent proposals, the previous statement should be nuanced.

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


a) For instance the British initiatives are more similar to the American ones. In contrast, in France, Holland and Germany, we find a less active role of civil society. Therefore, different institutions participate at different scales in large investments in partnerships with private agents. However, in the south, Portugal, Spain or Italy, the reliance in the state role is practically absolute. b) In addition to cultural differences, we must take into account other factors such as the smaller size of the remains and therefore of their symbolic (and economic) added value, as well as differences in terms of legislation, taxation, spatial planning regulations and the role of non-profit organizations in each territory. c) As we verified years ago the role of local actors is crucial in all cases. The best initiatives grow always bottom-up. It is very difficult to ensure the success of a heritage park where local human resources are not willing to play a role in its development. Residents are essential resources, both for their knowledge, memories and history, and for their enthusiasm, once they recognize the value of their cultural heritage. They are the main reason to develop an initiative; the key players in enhancing their assets. As soon as the self-confidence of local people is reinforced, they do not feel anymore as part of a region in crisis and they start building their future upon those heritage resources. The best initiatives acknowledge this, and include residents in its design and promotion; they are highly participatory. At the start of any project, it is essential to strengthen the self-esteem of residents. No doubt, visitors, museums and investments will come later. d) Together with local agents, the role of scholars, universities and research centers, is also quite relevant. The rigor of their knowledge gives precise sense to the enthusiasm and volunteerism of those who claim to care about their heritage. Almost all the analyzed proposals involve from the beginning professionals and scholars (historians, archaeologists, geographers, architects). They contribute with reports and projects, following quite common guidelines. e) In many cases, the efforts of local agents or of scholars are prolonged in time until they find fertile ground. In several cases, we discovered a considerable disparity between the enthusiasm and invested effort and the achieved results, due to the non-professional character of the promoters as some of them recognize (Le Creusot, Llobregat Colonies). f) On the basis of the analyzed cases, we may say that the initiatives consolidate when they reach a threefold support: the commendable work of local agents, lovers of a territory in which they intend to revalue their heritage, the reflection from scholars and the purview of any authority or



institution particularly sensitive to issues of cultural heritage. In many cases, local people end up forming an institution and seeking alliances with other public or private actors. When these three groups (local agents, scholars and sensitive entities) tend to converge and join forces, the best results are achieved. g) And here is another lesson we have learned. Usually the more established and stable proposals are not those who have achieved the greatest resources to be implemented, nor those managed exclusively by a public institution, but neither those which are underpinned by the voluntarism of local agents, scholars and institutions sensitive to cultural heritage. Successful initiatives are instead those that, in many cases starting from that voluntarism, have been able to create the appropriate complicity between civil society and the public administration, as in the paradigmatic example of Ironbridge. There are those of complex organization that set out collaborative strategies between civil society and administration and between public entities and private institutions. These alliances involve different social actors that enable them to face challenges that are ever more varied. Those are faced and assumed by the final recipients of all the efforts that are in my view not only the heritage resources - built or intangible - but the residents of a specific territory (VV.AA. 2004). I believe this is a basic commitment in the process of revaluation of heritage resources. Most of the studied projects show the growing relevance of cultural parks in local sustainable development. They help to achieve the objective of building more diversified territories whose identities are, at the same time, reinforced in terms of people’s self-esteem and heritage preservation awareness. Most relevant proposals do not understand cultural landscapes as finished sceneries, as the result of an old culture, but rather as a continuously evolving reality. Even though the recovery of our cultural legacy is fundamental, we must not forget our main concerns as urban and regional planners. By revaluating the cultural resources at the service of local development, our duty as professionals committed to the welfare of the people and the territories where they live, is improving education and the quality of life of the inhabitants of a given territory. Ultimately, our primary commitment should be to help create places where people can live with greater dignity. And this book should help to reflect how to face this relevant goal.

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Works Cited Benito, P. & Sabaté, J. (2000) “Paisajes culturales y proyecto territorial: un balance de treinta años de experiencia” at Identidades nº 2 (pp. 726). International Laboratory of Cultural Landscapes. Barcelona. Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city. Cambridge, MA.: Technology Press. Sabaté, J. & Schuster, JM. (2001). Designing the Llobregat corridor: cultural landscape and regional development. Barcelona: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Massachusetts Institute of Technology VV.AA. (2004). Event Places. Barcelona: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Barcelona.


“Even within the park and historic preservation communities there is little understanding of what heritage areas represent. … Heritage Areas don’t fit neatly within any concept or specialization we are familiar with. … Planning, development and management of heritage areas requires the coordination of many specialized skills including those of architects, landscape architects, planners, historic preservationists, educators, and tourism and economic development specialists to address the intricate relationships found in a living landscape encompassed in a heritage area. A positive consequence of this circumstance is the opportunity to enlarge the dimension of specialized skills by linking up disciplines. But it has left heritage areas to be an orphan without one specialized profession able to claim it as its very own” (Bray, 1994a: 34)

The quotation from Paul Bray brilliantly captures the essential traits of cultural parks and heritage areas. He highlights the general lack of knowledge about their existence, their constitutive interdisciplinary character and the absence of professionals and scholars dedicated to their development and study. Notwithstanding, their number is growing rapidly. In fact, the present research is tightly linked with real problems encountered when I was given the responsibility for a project for the creation of a cultural park in Maragatería (Spain) by the regional Government of Castilla y León in 2009. The complete absence of theorygrounded debate on the one hand, and the lack of any pragmatic guidelines for the development of cultural parks on the other, made me aware of the necessity for further research in the topic. The first striking fact when addressing the topic of cultural parks is the general lack of academic and institutional publications about them. Paradoxically, this deficiency is probably due to the fact that renders them so interesting from my point of view, that is, their interdisciplinary and complex nature. A cultural park is a good example of what Law and Mol (2002) called “slippery objects”. In a cultural park it is impossible to disentangle some aspects from others, to “purify” and analyze separately each element. Spatial planning, tourism, institutional organization, heritage


Chapter One

and museum management among others interact in such a way that it is impossible to define precise areas of activity for each discipline. Thus, cultural parks can take different meanings depending on the disciplinary root of the author who is accounting for them. They can be simultaneously spatial planning instruments, cultural heritage stewards or vectors for tourism attraction. In parallel, cultural parks can be articulated differently at the local level depending on who plans and supports them, with which objectives and in what context. Hence, the analysis of cultural parks calls for a holistic approach, one that conceives of them as a whole entity. Another factor which partially explains the lack of academic attention they have received is their dynamic nature. Cultural parks must be conceived as constantly evolving processes, a fact that hampers the standard scientific effort of fixing and stabilizing meanings and functions (Manuel DeLanda, 2004). This situation is interesting with regard to the study of heritage as it induces the researcher to avoid essentialist conceptualisations of it. That is, a heritage asset within a cultural park is not defined by the functions or features that the researcher externally attributes to it. Rather, it is determined by its particular articulation in a broader scheme where issues ranging from economy to politics, from science to folklore, intersect constantly. Cultural parks move beyond the conception of a park as a publiclyowned, enclosed space, aimed at conservation. Cultural parks seek to actively preserve extensive inhabited landscapes and their heritage resources, linking them to the tourist enterprise through the development of a management structure. Thus, they overcome the idea of a heritage site as a dot in space, embracing the notion of territorial heritage or cultural landscape. This change in focus would allow cultural parks to overcome the nature/culture (Sabaté, 2004b) and tangible / intangible dichotomies (Bustamante, 2008) thanks to a holistic conception of human’s relation with space. According to different authors, the involvement of local communities and a number of social actors in decision-making regarding heritage and landscape management would preclude the commodification of the area in spite of the increase in touristic inflows. Likewise, this would be so because cultural parks allegedly maintain a close link between people and their heritage (Daly, 2003). Despite these assumptions have never been proved against actual case studies, cultural parks are overall regarded as positive technical territorial interventions and devices of local development based on heritage resources. Consequently, the conception of cultural parks as technical devices has prevailed hitherto both in the literature and in management practices. This situation stems from the fact that architects and engineers have to



pragmatically address the design and implementation of parks along with the problems and difficulties that it entails as we shall see later. Also, “technical” conceptions prove useful for institutions that can easily link cultural parks with politic and socio-economic discourses. Then, cultural parks become instruments to strengthen the identity and memory of local communities, to slow down rural depopulation or to reverse the process of economic decline derived from the end of local productive activities. This empty rhetoric pictures cultural parks as stable and simple structures, therefore reducing their complexity and agency. In addition, from this viewpoint heritage is regarded as a bare resource to be enhanced for the well-being of the community. Clearly, this standpoint precludes the possibility of a socio-political analysis of the performance of cultural parks by leaving out many controversial issues. But in fact cultural parks play an important role in defining what heritage is, what narratives will be remembered and represented and which not, thus performing an overtly political task concerning issues of identity, inclusion and exclusion. Furthermore, cultural parks can be political in other ways. For instance, they can bring to the public eye hidden controversies such as ecological degradation, depopulation, lack of democracy, etc. Therefore, the subject of cultural parks is worthy of further research as it is related to many socio-political and academic issues and debates. They provide an outstanding framework for analysing a wide array of matters such as identity politics, cultural display ethics, representation, tourism, heritage property, commodification and modern dichotomies such as the nature-culture divide. But cultural parks also entail huge economic, physical and affective investments by different social actors and real changes in the lives of people. Thus, commonplace assumptions and potential mismatchings between theory and practice may bring about harmful consequences in different ways: investments may be wasted, communities may feel excluded from the project or heritage could be damaged. This dissertation aims to be a useful contribution to the academic and practical fields, two areas that are often inextricably linked in every cultural park project.

1.1 Aims The present dissertation aims to set up the basis for the analysis of cultural parks and to open up the topic to academic scrutiny. The purpose is not to reach an all-encompassing definition of cultural parks. Rather, the aim is to map the different elements that play a role in their constitution


Chapter One

and to explore critically dominant assumptions about them in order to build a new theory and methodology for their study. The purpose, therefore, is not primarily to answer the problems raised by cultural parks, but to access the epistemological and ontological assumptions behind their development. On this basis, it will be possible to move beyond technical narratives that have prevailed to date and elucidate how cultural parks could be studied more effectively. In other words, the aim is to reveal the potential motivations behind the decision to construct cultural parks, to establish what conceptions of cultural parks they are rooted in, and to assess to what extent they may function according to their perceived roles. Therefore, it is essential to shed light on the genealogy of cultural parks, that is, the antecedents and elements that have rendered them possible. Also, it is necessary to account for their empirical constitution, comprising their social and institutional organisation and structure. These developments will facilitate the task of analysing the role heritage plays within cultural parks. Instead of considering cultural parks as technical instruments, this dissertation conceives them as emergent processes. From this stance, the paper will question whether cultural parks really do overcome the nature/culture dichotomy and, if so, how they do it. Afterwards, the dissertation brings into question the validity of essentialist statements straightforwardly assuming that cultural parks preserve identity and memory or reinforce community cohesion. Finally, cultural parks will be set as a definite object of study or “research problem”. This paves the way for the development of a methodology that allows the study and explanation of the empirical performance of cultural parks.

1.2 Methodology The approach used here to account for cultural parks is largely qualitative. Also, the investigation calls for an inductive reasoning stance. The newness of the topic and the particular methods of the Heritage studies discipline make it difficult to work within a deductive, hypothesistesting standpoint. Rather, an exploratory and qualitative methodology is required in order to elucidate the more relevant issues about cultural parks and to provide a novel framework for their analysis. Essentially, a library-based work has provided the necessary data to carry out the investigation. The main resources consulted have been journal papers, books and normative texts from different institutions such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, European Council, National Park Service of the United States along with national and regional governments. Moreover,



some cultural park promoters have provided me with planning guidelines and information. Also, during a research stay at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in June 2011, Professor Joaquín Sabaté allowed me to consult the documentation produced by his research group after the implementation of four cultural parks in Catalunya (Spain). The majority of cultural parks do not publish, or their publication range is limited to the local level. Hence, the information retrieved from official Websites and blogs is essential. Digital leaflets, maps, itineraries and short guides provide useful data about the story of the park, the administrative framework, the main heritage resources or the socio-economic context. The information gathered from these sources has been organised and analysed according to the requirements of the specific tasks to be performed. Finally, it is important to justify the fact that no fieldwork has been carried out. Although, I believe that it is not enough to analyze discourses and that fieldwork research is crucial to understand heritage issues, given the underdeveloped theoretical state of the subject it is necessary to set out the basis for a realistic empirical research agenda before plunging straight into the field. The present investigation aims at establishing a connection between a theoretical framework, an ethnographic methodology and a clear object of study, an endeavour that will enable me in the future to carry out meaningful and problem directed fieldwork.

1.3 Some Remarks on Literature about Cultural Parks There are some general remarks to be made before turning to the commentary of the different bodies of literature concerning cultural parks. As already stated scholarship dealing specifically with cultural parks is scarce and comes mainly from the fields of architecture and spatial planning. This does not mean they are totally isolated at an academic level. Cultural parks bring together knowledge and expertise from different lineages and fields, among which essentially museology, spatial planning and protected area management, architecture and archaeology. Similarly, at an epistemological level they are part of discussions that affect the social sciences at large, such as the nature/culture dichotomy or the conflict over representation embodied in the subject/object dialectic. Then, when I mention the lack of specific investigations on cultural parks I am referring to the absence of research integrating the different fields of knowledge and dealing with the various epistemological and practical controversial issues that they entail.


Chapter One

Then, not only there is a lack of interdisciplinary works about cultural parks, but almost all the studies come from the U.S. and Europe due to the fact that very few cultural parks exist out of these areas and access to information is more difficult. In fact, only three cases have been found in China (Zhi-fang & Peng, 2001) and Australia (Henry, 2000; Ryan & Huyton, 2002). In South America cultural parks are conceived as open air museums, such as the Parque Cultural del Caribe in Colombia or the Parque Cultural Valparaíso in Chile (Holmes, Labbé, Portugueis, & Spichiger, 2009). A further difficulty is that management guidelines and projects are rarely made public apart from exceptional cases (i.e.Casas, 2006). Normally, papers about cultural parks tell the story of their development, the involvement of different institutions, the socio-economic context and the heritage resources included in the park. Each author deploys a different understanding of what is a cultural park and how it works, taking for granted that their particular concept is universal. Also, there is a tendency to bring cultural parks into each author’s disciplinary framework without the necessary epistemological translation. Thus, for archaeologists they become a good solution for the problem of the preservation of archaeological remains (Ballesteros Arias, Otero Vilariño, & Varela Pousa, 2004; Fairclough & Rippon, 2002), for spatial planners an instrument for the management of special territories such as cultural landscapes (Hernández & Giné, 2002) whereas for economists they are seen as an opportunity to generate wealth and development (Pecchia, 2003). Finally, it is relevant that only one author acknowledges the fact that the cultural park that he is studying has failed (Pascual Rubio Terrado, 2008). Cultural parks are only accounted for when they become thriving projects with positive performances. The only investigation dealing specifically with cultural parks has been carried out by Dennis Frenchman and Joaquín Sabaté (2001). Also, Leonel Bustamante has extended their previous research under the guidance of Joaquín Sabaté (Bustamante, 2008). Both works approach cultural parks from an architectural stance that privileges issues of landscape design and spatial planning. The rest of studies in Europe focus on individual cases and specific types of parks such as regional (Fernández Mier & Díaz López, 2006), hydraulic (Muñoz Sánchez, 2009), agricultural (Ferraresi, Rossi, & Politecnico di Milano. Dipartimento di scienze del, 1993; Torre, 2007), archaeological (Battaglini, Orejas, & Clavel-Lévêque, 2002) or industrial (D. Butler, Duckworth, & Dalmellington and District Conservation, 1994; Goodall, 1994; Hayward, 1987; Kunzmann, 1999). The works of the Cultural Park system in Aragón (Spain) stand out because they provide a



coherent framework for the six parks in the system (Aragón, 1997). These authors analyse the performance of cultural parks in relation to spatial planning, sustainable development and tourism. Furthermore, the promoters of the Val di Cornia Cultural Park (Toscana, Italy) developed a comprehensive study of their own park which represents the most in-depth account carried out to date on the issue. In a book produced by themselves (Zucconi, 2003), the promoters critically analyse the development of the park from many different standpoints, ranging from economy to heritage management. In the case of the U.S., information about cultural parks (denominated also Heritage Parks or National Heritage Areas comes from different sources. Papers exist dealing with particular cases (e.g. Hamin, 2001; Hart, 2000; Hayward, 1987; Laven, Ventriss, Manning, & Mitchell, 2010). Occasionally, the National Park System, the organism responsible for the management of National Parks in the U.S., provides some technical information about National Heritage Areas. However, most of the information comes from their own National Heritage Area promoters (i.e. Prola, 2005) and from private Cultural Resource Management consultants (i.e. Bray, 1994a). In particular, the National Heritage Area Web pages provide useful information about the park’s history, heritage resources and the subject matter. Overall, critical and theory-grounded literature on cultural parks is lacking. There is a clear predominance of positivist and functionalist narrations merely presenting the history of the development of the park and its heritage resources. Normally, authors rely on essentialist and commonsense categorizations that assume normative definitions to create watertight categories where cultural parks fit. The idea that cultural parks are neutral instruments that smoothly translate the “great narratives” of sustainable development or heritage preservation into praxis permeates the vast majority of the literature reviewed.

1.4 Overview The text is divided into two distinct sections. The first five chapters set out the noteworthy factors that have led to the formation of cultural parks and explore their functioning and structures. The last two chapters comprise a theoretical reflection and focus on the development of a methodology for the empirical study of cultural parks.


Chapter One

The Ambivalence of Landscapes: between Representation and Reality. The chapter examines the epistemological evolution of the concept of “landscape” and how it interweaves with issues of governmentality. The aim is to show how the ambivalence of the notion of landscape was generated in parallel with the development of the modern epistemology and the scientific paradigm. The chapter shows how some of the controversial aspects of cultural parks stem from placing the idea of landscape at the heart of its spatial and heritage planning efforts. Finally, two institutional frameworks for the management of landscapes are analysed. Territory and Heritage: from Cultural Landscapes to Cultural Parks. This chapter investigates how the ambivalence of the notion of “landscape” is reproduced in the conceptualization of cultural landscapes. Also, it shows how under the apparently positive character of “cultural landscapes” lies a utilitarian notion that opens the door to the reification and commodification of landscapes. Finally, it presents the different views of UNESCO and the National Park Service and how these influence the nature of cultural parks in each area. Charting the Path to Cultural Parks. The chapter points to some of the museum practices and protected areas” management frameworks that have been most influential in the development of cultural parks. To this end, the main theoretical trends and some practices in Europe and U.S. are exposed. The chapter aims to show how the cultural park phenomenon is not entirely original, but rather a hybridization of previous traditions and practices that undergo different articulations at the local level. Cultural Parks. The chapter provides an overview of the process of implementation and operation of cultural parks. The various definitions of cultural parks are reviewed along with several key issues that play a role in their constitution such as the inventories, the storytelling process and the role of institutions, legislation and commonplace objectives. Some Issues for Discussion. The objective of the chapter is to discuss some contentious issues about cultural parks while at the same time linking them with other disciplines and subjects and in particular with the field of heritage studies. A further aim is to open the subject to academic scrutiny and potential future research.



A New Concept of Cultural Parks: towards a Methodology of Analysis. The chapter provides a theoretical conceptualization that serves as a base for the development of a methodology for the ethnographic study of cultural parks. To do this, I start from a critical review of the methodologies that have previously been used by other authors. Then, cultural parks are conceptualized as complex “assemblages”. Afterwards, some suggestions for the creation of a methodology for their study are provided. Conclusions. The conclusions review the main points of the dissertation and discuss their significance.


2.1. The Concept of Landscape The etymology of the word for “landscape” derives from the Latin “pagus” in the Romance languages1 and refers to a place where a human being has been born or lives and to which a person feels attached (Muñoz, 2006). The same link between place and identity is reproduced in English with “land” and “landscape”, in this case deriving from the Dutch “Landschap” or German “Landschaft”. Moreover, the literature on landscapes shows a wide range of positionings on the origins of the modern meaning of the term. Maderuelo (2006) situates it in the fifth century Chinese artists” conception of space, while Zimmer (2008) locates it in the modern Flanders. For Burckhardt (2004) and the cultural geographers (see Cosgrove, 1985) the modern idea of landscape emerged with the Italian Renaissance paintings. These paintings placed the artistobserver outside the frame, a movement that Cosgrove relates with the incipient birth of modern science’s epistemology. Moreover, this conception breaks with medieval landscape paintings which expressed the manifestation of the divine order in nature (Fuller, 1988) without establishing a separation between man and nature nor even a linear perspective that could represent the world accurately (A. Berque, 1997). The long process whereby medieval epistemology was replaced by the modern one gave rise to a neutral and scientific notion of nature and the world (Livingstone, 1992). The landscape becomes part of the biopolitical machinery deployed by modern states to control and discipline the population (Michel Foucault, 2007). Mitchell (2002) and Cosgrove (2003) provide examples of how the representation of landscape served to establish a real domination over spaces and populations in Italy, England 1

“Paisaje” in Spanish, “paysage” in French, “Paesaggi O’ in Italian, “Paisagem” in Portuguese or “Peisaj” in Romanian.


Chapter Two

and other European states during the modern era: every new spatial theory implies a new socio-political order (see Fagence, 1983; Foley, 1960; Kramer, 1975; Reade, 1987). Thus, by tying together morals and politics, science and aesthetics, the adaptation of the notion of landscape in the discipline of Geography became controversial and derived in a conflict throughout the eighteenth century in France and Germany between a “pure geography” aspiring to be a neutral and scientific discipline, and the “State geography”, which focused on supporting the performance of the aristocratic State (Dematteis, 1985). This second position derived in what was known in the United Kingdom as geography for the sake of the Empire (Wallach, 2005). The coming to power of the bourgeoisie in France and Germany during the nineteenth century led to an ambiguous compromise between knowledge and power (Minca & Bialasiewicz, 2008) whose precarious balance still weighs heavily in our way of managing and understanding space (M. Foucault & Gordon, 1980). Alexander von Humboldt transformed the aesthetic concept of landscape into the scientific notion commonly used in the social sciences still today (2003). The scientific adaptation of the term was charged with ambivalence, since “Landschaft” referred both to the reality of a neighbourhood and the figurative representation of the neighbourhood itself. It comes by no surprise that this dialectic between representation and reality will impinge on the operation of cultural parks. This is so because the aesthetic, emotional and affective dimension of landscape is confused with its concrete physical, material dimension. The modern scientific quest to “purify concepts” (Bruno Latour, 1993) has prevented the acceptance of “landscape” as a hybrid where the objective and subjective dimensions coexist. From Humboldt’s conceptualization onwards, the diverse approaches to landscapes have only swung the balance toward the objectivist or the subjectivist side, with the result that “territory”, “space” and “place” are confused with “landscape”. In the early twentieth century a descriptive-cartographic turning point transformed landscapes into sets of objects, a move that could be linked to war needs of the states at that time (Vázquez Varela & Martínez Navarro, 2008). From the 1940s onwards there was a revolution in landscape studies in the U.S. and the U.K. thanks to the works of John Brinckerhoff and William Hoskins with his classic work The making of the English Landscape (1955). It was Carl Sauer who reinstated the significance of existential values in the notion of landscape, conceived as a stable territory with a specific identity (Getis & Getis, 2006; Rubenstein, 2010). Interestingly, this view led him to propose the preservation and

The Ambivalence of Landscapes: Between Representation and Reality


enhancement of historic landscapes already in the 1950s (Mathewson & Kenzer, 2003). During the 1960s the works of Augustin Berque integrated the concept of landscape within the phenomenological tradition (Muñoz Jiménez, 1979; Relph & Mugerauer, 1985). Heideggerian phenomenology caused a shift in the conception of landscapes by placing the subject as “being-inthe-world” in the centre of its ontology (Safranski, 1998). Consequently, the observing subject is what gives meaning to the outer world and the landscape becomes a human experience rather than a part of the objective world (Augustin Berque, Conan, & Donadieu, 1994). Afterwards, the New Cultural Geography hybridised phenomenology with Marxism providing a strong characterization of “landscape” as a “visual ideology” (Cosgrove, 1985) or “way of seeing” that serves to sustain mystification (Berger, 1972; see also Ingerson, 2000). Cultural Geography has been harshly criticised by anthropologists considering that this paradigm conveys an “elitist” vision of the landscape (Zusman, 2004). In fact, some recent approaches to landscapes could be regarded as a response to the culturalist perspective (e.g. Bender & Winer, 2001; Hirsch & O’Hanlon, 1995; Tilley, 1994)2. From the 1990s onwards, there is an outburst of works on landscapes from heterogeneous viewpoints whose detailed review exceeds the scope of this study. Recent scholarship has questioned the functionality of the notion of landscape and tried to bridge the epistemological gap between nature and culture (see N. J. Thrift, 2008; Whatmore, 2002) Currently, the acceptance of the interweaving between nature and culture seems to be widespread in scientific contexts (see Antrop, 2006; Naveh, 1995; Palang & Fry, 2003). This recognition runs in parallel with the acknowledgement that no ecosystem can be defined as external to man and that no scientist can claim to be totally foreign to its object of study, thus accepting the contingency of his categories (Couston, 2005). However, according to Chouquer (2007) the epistemological split will continue to exist as natural science requires the separation of nature and culture. This is so since otherwise its sphere of influence would be reduced as everything would be socially constructed. For this reason, it is important to maintain the term “environment”, a concept that enables natural science to keep an ahistorical conception of nature where man has not intervened (G. Chouquer, 2000). Despite the progress of the academic forefront, two trends with different conceptions of landscapes remain clearly separated. First, the objectivist paradigm, “illustrated by the many surveys of landscapes which 2

See Appendix 1: “Definitions of landscape”.


Chapter Two

classify and evaluate their quality” (Lothian, 2000: 179). Secondly, the subjectivist paradigm that “requires the assessment of respondent preferences of landscapes and, through the use of statistical methods, the contribution which the landscapes” physical components make to its quality is identified” (Lothian, 2000: 179). Lothian shows that there is an insurmountable break between institutional objectivist assessments and academic subjectivist approaches. The objectivist trend has gained momentum recently thanks to the development of the applied geography and the strength of institutions such as the Countryside Agency in U.K. and similar entities in Europe (see Martínez de Pisón & Sanz Herráiz, 2000; Mata Olmo, Sanz Herráiz, & España. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2003). Moreover, the issue becomes increasingly complex considering that the objectivist hypotheses generates otherness and is inherently appropriative: the will to know runs in parallel with the will to dominate (Adorno, 1997). The process of objectification-reification makes possible the act of “possessing” and facilitates the entrance of the possessed object into the sphere of the market: colonialism reified dominated cultures which became resources available to the imperialist (Bru Bistuer & Agüera Cabo, 2000). Then, the objectification of the landscape can open the door to processes of enhancement and touristification. Thus, for most institutions and for “pure” science, landscape is still considered from a utilitarian and functional perspective. This utilitarian position is reflected in the use modern states make of the “archetypal landscapes” to tell their own histories and gain legitimacy (see Minca, 2000; Schama, 1995 for examples of these practices in the U.K. and the U.S.) through the establishment of an exemplary ideal of order (Turri, 1998). This is possible thanks to the appropriation of the subjective communicative potential of landscapes (Guarrasi, 2002; Turco, 2002) that is channelled through the emotional and aesthetic elements giving rise to feelings of belonging (Cosgrove & Daniels, 1989). The affective dimension comprising the myths, obsessions and memories which make up the landscape as a shared culture (Schama, 1995) is thus reified with political or economic objectives, as is the case with cultural parks. Therefore, it is not possible to perform a technical or neutral action on landscapes: their management always revolves around the political and ideological control of the meanings attached to the territory and the limits set to it. In conclusion, despite the diversity of academic approaches to the landscape, an objectivist viewpoint prevails among most scholars, politicians, planners and journalists. Is it possible to reconcile the

The Ambivalence of Landscapes: Between Representation and Reality


subjective understanding of landscape as gaze, as feeling, as a narrative of our past, with a scientific-bureaucratic notion that reifies it? Does a reifying conception of landscapes transform them into fetishes to which meanings, experiences and products can be associated for a passive subject who consumes them as a tourist or a citizen? These problems inherent to the concept of landscape will also haunt cultural parks from their inception.

2.2 Managing Landscapes This section reviews two influential European texts on landscape management that have served as an inspiration for the creation of cultural parks. Both texts keep a precarious balance between the two facets of the concept of landscape. Also, they show an incipient interweaving between territory3 and heritage that opens the door to the advent of cultural landscapes and cultural parks.

2.2.1 European Landscape Convention The European Landscape Convention defines landscape as an “area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (2000). The aim of the chart is to safeguard everyday and even degraded landscapes where the majority of Europeans live, instead of merely preserving the aesthetically beautiful or outstanding (see Priore, 2002). The simple and integrating definition put forward purports a dynamic and relational view of landscapes where the subjective, social and non elitist components are prioritised (Spingola & Pizziolo, 2002). The European Landscape Convention stands in contrast with other texts that present a narrower understanding of the concept: the UNESCO opts for “cultural landscape” (Mechtild Rössler, 2006), environmental policies normally refer to “natural landscapes” while the European Charter on Spatial Planning (1984) refers to “rural landscapes”. This positioning is related to the will to make the legislation extensive to the whole territory, a notion that breaks with all previous legislative mechanisms that focused on restricted areas of planning (Pedroli & Van Mansvelt, 2006). According to 3

“Territory” can be understood in many ways. Here it is conceived in a political manner as a physical area under control of a social group. As a reified category, it can be equated with the objectivist conception of “landscape” as a delimited area in space that sets aside the interference of the human perception or gaze.


Chapter Two

Florencio Zoido (2001), the extensive conception of landscape generated an intense debate among the promoters of the chart because some groups opposed it arguing that an excessive safeguarding of landscapes would threaten economic development. The European Landscape Convention stresses the idea of change as an inherent reality of landscapes (Vos & Meekes, 1999). Thus, in response to the diverse menaces threatening landscapes, the aim should be to “guide and harmonise changes which are brought about by social, economic and environmental processes” (Council of Europe, 2000) through three distinct attitudes toward landscapes: protection, management and planning.4 The European Landscape Convention shows an inclination to relate landscape to spatial and urban planning (Zoido Naranjo, 2004). This peculiarity opens the door for architects to actively intervene in the management of landscapes, a path that has led many to participate in the implementation of cultural parks. The convention has received a broad normative recognition, but its practical implementation has only been considered by Holland and Denmark. The Nordic Council, the British Countryside Agency and the Swiss Federal Bureau have also adopted it within their working framework. Furthermore, many landscape catalogues and inventories are underway throughout Europe with different degrees of intensity (Abellán & Fourneau, 1998; Clark, Darlington, & Fairclough, 2004; Gómez Mendoza & Sanz Herraiz, 2010) and methodological originality (see Galstyan, 2005; Wascher, 2005). Despite being a key text for the management and understanding of landscapes, the European Landscape Convention poses unattainable objectives for many countries (Gambino, 2003). Thus, the document remains a “utopian projection” (Magnaghi, 2005b) as it is not a realistic goal to manage all territories with the same care. This fact paves the way for the spread of cultural landscapes conceived as isolated areas to be safeguarded. Also, the ambivalence of the European Landscape Convention may lead to a disjunction between discursive assumptions and practical aims. Despite highlighting the importance of the existential properties of landscapes, these are actually treated as “territory” to be delimited, inventoried, and managed by spatial planning instruments. Therefore, the underlying character of the norm presents a clear tendency towards the objectification of landscape.


See Table 1.

The Ambivalence of Landscapes: Between Representation and Reality


2.2.2 Belvedere Nota: “Conservation through Development” The Dutch Belvedere Nota (Feddes & Ingenieursbureau Oranjewoud, 1999) continues with an original tradition on spatial planning that develops an understanding of spatial and heritage planning unprecedented in other countries (Feddes & Platform, 1996; Ministerie van Cultuur, 1996; Ploeg, 1999). The two crucial areas of the Nota are, firstly, the combination of historical and cultural disciplines with spatial planning. Secondly, the selection of Belvedere areas of heritage value throughout the country. These areas are not restrictive and can bring together large frameworks of cities, landscapes, historical and archaeological areas (Schoorl, 2005). The Nota is concerned about national landscapes becoming homogeneous, thus highlighting the necessity of strengthening the material links between past, present and future. This fact does not entail a “preservation at all costs” policy as “we cannot live in the past –we must build and design to meet and reflect the culture of our own age” (Feddes & Ingenieursbureau Oranjewoud 1999: 5). The most salient characteristic of the Belvedere Nota is that it places landscapes in the centre of the planning efforts, acknowledging and dealing creatively with their ambivalence. The daunting dichotomy of change-preservation is overcome thanks to an understanding of conservation not as preservation but as management of change (Beresford & Phillips, 2000; P. M. Brown, Kaufmann, & Shepperd, 1999). Instead of establishing a clear-cut separation between spatial planning and heritage management, the Belvedere Nota underscores the need to keep both fields in a close dynamic interrelation. Accordingly, cultural history disciplines should not only focus on the preservation of isolated cultural heritage elements, but should be also concerned with the cohesion of areas and current spatial developments. In turn, spatial planning should contribute to the enhancement of cultural and heritage values and the strengthening of each area’s identity. Thus, landscape planning “demands a supplementary, integrated approach … assuming an intrinsic interrelationship between archaeology, the conservation of listed buildings and that of historic landscapes. Independent elements and patterns are thereby to be regarded as forming part of a greater whole. This implies a regional approach” (Feddes & Ingenieursbureau Oranjewoud 1999: 19). Then, “when both disciplines widen their field of vision in this way, looking back and looking forward, will become extensions of each other and each will contribute to the forging of the link between past and future” (Idem: 19-20). The Belvedere Nota combines its technical nature with an openly political stance. In fact, it can be included within the multiculturalist set of


Chapter Two

policies that aim to mitigate the social, religious and ethnic fragmentation of the Netherlands (see Scheffer, 2011). Actually, the text prioritizes notions of identity over authenticity (Schoorl, 2005) in order to reduce the gap between native groups and immigrant communities. This political positioning has raised criticisms of the Belvedere Nota claiming that it represents a social-engineering attempt that aims to use spatial and heritage planning to shape society (Pellenbart & van Steen, 2001). The Belvedere Nota considers issues of social cohesion, ecological sustainability, scientific and aesthetic interest and cultural identity as legitimate benchmarks to judge spatial interventions independently of the utilitarian aspects (VROM-Raad, 1998). Hence, it performs a turning point concerning landscape and heritage planning. In particular, three aspects stand out that strongly condition the development of cultural parks: the emphasis on a holistic and regional approach to planning, the disciplinary and empirical coalescence between heritage and space management and the balanced articulation between identity, ecology, aesthetics and economic interests.


The European Landscape Convention intended to extend landscape planning on a continental scale in Europe. The impossibility of implementing this utopian projection often reduces landscape management to places deemed of outstanding value or, as recognized by Italian legislation, a “beautiful panorama” (Campanelli, 2004). Despite their apparent similarity, landscapes and cultural landscapes need to be conceptualised separately. The concept “cultural landscape” is somehow close to that of “heritage”, implying an idea of something valuable that has to be preserved, a trait that is not straightforwardly present in “landscape”. Moreover, the differentiation between them is at the root of the problem of protected areas’ management. Is it preferable to implement holistic landscape and heritage management plans comprising whole territories or to focus on taking care of some specific landscapes? Is it fair to give preference to some areas in democratic states where theoretically all people and their landscapes should be treated equally, as the European Landscape Convention states? The conceptualization of cultural landscapes has to be necessarily open since all definitions are based on a particular epistemological foundation, resulting partial and sometimes even contradictory (Maderuelo, 2006; Vázquez Varela & Martínez Navarro, 2008)1. New perspectives based on post-structuralism and artistic practice are added to the traditional positivist viewpoint deriving from natural sciences or from phenomenology. For cultural geographers, the same space can be constituted in different cultural landscapes depending on the observer’s perspective (Ballesteros Arias, et al., 2004). Moreover, from the point of view of Actor-Network-Theory the concept cultural landscape can refer to many different realities: that of legislation, the academic, that of the local 1

See Appendix 2 “Definitions of cultural landscape”.


Chapter Three

association or the tourist, etc. All of them are connected but are not necessarily the same (Pinch, 2003). The origins of the concept date back to the works of nineteenth century German geographers (Minca, 2001) and to the romantic will to see the monument in its original spatial context (Busquets, Cortina, & Anton, 2009). Carl Sauer offered the first definition of cultural landscape in his “Morphology of Landscape”: “the cultural landscape is shaped from a natural landscape by a cultural group. Culture is the agent, nature is the means, the cultural landscape is the result” (C. O. Sauer & Leighly, 1963 [1925]: 343). In Europe, the works on cultural geography carried out by Sorre (1967) anticipated the consolidation from the 1960’s onwards of a tendency towards a spatialised notion of heritage (Alvarez Areces, 2002). Landscape archaeology has contributed to the process since the 1980s by widening the concept of “archaeological site” and providing landscapes with scientific narratives (see Clavel-Lévêque, Doukellis, & Tirologos, 2002; Criado-Boado, 1997; Darvill, Gerrard, & Startin, 1993; Fairclough & Rippon, 2002). Accordingly, Archaeology gained legitimacy to participate in the management of landscapes with its own methods and to promote the idea of landscape heritage in spatial planning guidelines (Cacho, 2006). Especially since the 1980s, archaeologists have increasingly acknowledged that cultural heritage can no longer be perceived in isolation, thus recognizing the need for unitary legislation covering cultural heritage, environment, territory and landscape (Marciniak, 2000). However, despite the increasing recognition that the concept has gained in different disciplines, it is not free of contradictions. Sabaté considers that the idea of cultural landscape is redundant because every landscape “is cultural” (2002) and all people have a cultural relation with land (O’Flaherty & California State Parks, n.d.). Then, one might wonder why it is so commonly used, even within Sabaté’s research group2. Again, the disjunction between actual practices and institutional and academic discourse is patent. On one side, the concept of cultural landscape seems to be used because it satisfies the need of the State to define limits, create boundaries and classifications for management purposes. On the other side, it suits the functioning of the market as it produces differences, a source of added territorial value (Galindo González & Sabaté Bel, 2009; Rullani, 2006). In fact, place differentiation is the constitutive cornerstone of tourism (Prats, 2003; Vázquez Barquero, 2009).


See Table 2.

Territory and Heritage: From Cultural Landscapes to Cultural Parks


From this standpoint, the cultural landscape becomes a scarce commodity that goes into the struggles for social appropriation, whether symbolic or real (Duncan & Duncan, 2004). Also, the reification of the notion stems from its conception as artwork (e.g. Ojeda Rivera, 2004; Zimmer, 2008). According to this view, to manage a cultural landscape “planners need to be artists as well as scientists” (von Haaren, 2002: 80). This artistic viewpoint entails the reification of cultural landscapes, which far from being artworks are the outcome of a specific utilitarian relation of past societies with their surroundings (G. Chouquer, 2000). Nowadays, a novel and more complex form of utilitarianism is deployed whereby landscape and heritage are linked with tourism and development (Urry, 2002) under the motto of “conservation through change” (Sabaté, 2007; see also Schofield, 2009). Therefore, the ambivalence of the landscape remains in the notion of cultural landscape. Likewise, the contradiction persists between discourses and actual practices and between the representative and the objective dimensions of landscapes. This opposition is difficult to overcome because any present intervention on the landscape is mediated by technology and bureaucracy (Cauquelin, 2002). Better then to acknowledge that cultural landscapes are concepts oriented toward functional objectives. As Domènech Reinoso points out, “while traditional historical preservation sought to recognize and protect the distinctive material traits of a shared past, the goal of cultural landscapes is to promote and put to work these features for new forms of economic development” (2005: 64).

3.1 The UNESCO Framework The most widely applied definition of cultural landscape is provided by the UNESCO. The definition has been criticized for its clear Universalist and Western epistemological bias (Castillo Ruiz, 2007). Of course, it does not address issues of economy or touristic management. The UNESCO laid the foundations of the concept in the World Heritage Convention (1972) due on one side to the threat that industrialization posed to landscape preservation and on the other to the academic theoretical developments that were taking place at that time (Martínez de Pisón Stampa, 2004). The definitive establishment of cultural landscapes as a working category came in the La Petit Pierre meeting ( October 1992) and in the Expert meeting on Cultural Landscapes (October 1993). The Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention (2006) already includes the category “cultural landscapes” along with specific instruments for their identification, protection and


Chapter Three

preservation (M. Rössler, 2003; see also Mechtild Rössler, 2006). Cultural landscapes “represent the combined works of nature and of man … illustrative of the evolution of human society and settlement over time, under the influence of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by their natural environment and of successive social, economic and cultural forces, both external and internal” (UNESCO, 2006 items 4547)3. To date, sixty-six cultural landscapes have been inscribed on the World Heritage List4. The subjective and controversial task of deciding which landscapes are “cultural” and which not has caused difficulties for the UNESCO. In response, the UNESCO has provided some guidelines to facilitate the process of inscription (i.e. Prada Bengoa, 1994; W. R. UNESCO, 1996 prf. 6 and 39) that have been complemented by academic attempts to establish a definite set of assessment criteria (i.e. Darvill, 1994; Mascarenhas, 1995).

3.2 The National Park Service Framework As early as 1983 the National Park Service recognised cultural landscapes as a specific kind of heritage, establishing a set of criteria to define and identify them (Birnbaum, 1994). A cultural landscape is “a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values” (Birnbaum, et al., 1996)5. Contrarily to UNESCO’s, National Park Service pragmatic definitions reflect the actual commitment to manage and present cultural landscapes to the American public. Within the National Park Service framework, cultural landscape characterization is the first step in the implementation of broader preservation plans. Also, cultural landscape assessment is openly tied to political objectives that aim to reinforce the identity of the American Nation. Therefore, the underlying conception of cultural landscapes diverges between UNESCO and National Park Service’s frameworks despite the apparent similarities (M. Hall, Agnoletti, & Anderson, 2000). The National Park Service straightforwardly considers cultural landscapes as 3

See Table 3. See UNESCO’s website for an updated list: 5 See Table 4. 4

Territory and Heritage: From Cultural Landscapes to Cultural Parks


spaces that must be associated with events and a number of heritage assets (Rowntree, 1996). Then, cultural landscapes should tell stories that connect heritage resources with an identity (García López, 2008). The National Heritage Area phenomenon is a clear outcome of this standpoint. Probably this conception derives from the formation process of the country whereby vast natural regions were put at the service of human development in a short time. The sense of durability is scarce and therefore the American point of view is more instrumental than philosophical or aesthetic (Conzen, 2001). Furthermore, the lower human alteration of the U.S. landscapes fosters an idea of territory as “natural space”. Thus, it is difficult for Americans to get used to the idea that people live within parks as is normal in Europe (Bray, 1998). Instead, the European view represented by UNESCO regards cultural landscapes as the result of a gradual sedimentation of long-term socioeconomic historical processes (Gambino, 2002). Consequently, the cultural landscape cannot be separated from the communities that crafted it (Waterton, 2005). Furthermore, UNESCO’s objectivist standpoint does not favour any pattern of management. This fact leads to a preservationist approach: cultural landscapes are isolated from the rest of the landscapes and apparently the only legitimate approach becomes the “preservation of difference”. These structural divergences in the epistemological conception of the relation between heritage and territory are reflected in the two different understandings of cultural parks on either side of the Atlantic6.

3.3 Concluding Remarks on Landscapes The landscape – cultural or otherwise – is a difficult concept to grasp. If it is considered as a social construction it cannot be simply equated with a territory, but neither with a subjective individual representation (Delgado Rozo, 2010; Foster, 2005; Greider & Garkovich, 1994). Also, it is believed that landscapes hold intrinsic qualities that foster a sense of belonging, identity and memory. Moreover, they have an ontological character as they produce subjectivities and social realities. According to the main institutional texts (European Landscape Convention, Belvedere Nota, etc.), in theory all landscapes have the same value and should be managed equally. Supposedly, in landscapes nature and culture along with the material and existential dimensions of space are harmoniously unified. In practice, however, UNESCO and National Park Service support the idea of cultural landscapes, which is already a politically charged decision as it 6

See Table 5.


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entails the establishment of territorial hierarchies, instead of purporting a view of landscape as a common social value: some landscapes are cultural and valuable whereas others are not. According to Bray (2004a), Whatmore and Boucher (1993) several underlying narratives pervade discourses on landscape preservation. First, the conservationist narrative values landscape as a scientific and aesthetic natural reserve that is necessary to preserve, in opposition to change and development. The ecological and historical narrative considers landscape as a common support of wild and human life as well as a source of sense of belonging. Finally, the utilitarian narrative regards landscapes as an added value. However, away from the field of discourse heritage managers and spatial planners have to deal with the complexity and hybridity of the real world. Therefore, I believe that landscapes should be conceived as an entity that can “stand for something”: norms, affects, desires, identities, ways of life and so on (Schein, 2003: 202-203). But also as a “field of tension” (Wylie, 2007: 1) where market forces, bureaucracies, the social desire for the past, etc. intersect with the epistemological dichotomies of modernity (i.e. nature-culture, etc.). To manage landscapes involves that a social group or institution must project towards the future a certain way of understanding and handling its relation with its surroundings. The issue at stake is to discern whose representation of landscapes prevails in their management.


“Heritage areas are like a view of the landscape in that everyone sees them, and their origins, differently because those involved have different values, goals, and backgrounds. This description of the evolution of heritage areas is one view of the movement. … The heritage areas movement began, arguably, in a dozen different places and points in time. The approach that is being used in hundreds of places evolved from a number of separate but related conservation, historic preservation, land use and economic development movements” J. Glenn Eugster (2003: 50).

This chapter outlines the practices that have been most influential for the development of cultural parks in the fields of museum and protected areas management. The term “background” has been intentionally avoided to keep away from setting a clear-cut division between a before and an after. In reality, the different management experiences intermingle taking a little from here and there to result in heterogeneous instruments (Mose, 2007). Thus, an ecomuseum like Bergslagen (Sweden) has recently been renamed as a cultural park (Bergdhal, 2005) without a radical change in its structure. Although the U.S. and European cases have been considered separately, it would be misleading to convey an image of isolation between them. In fact, the exchange of influences concerning heritage and landscape management date back to the nineteenth century as evidenced by the works of Ralph Emerson (1971) and George Perkins (1965).

4.1 Europe The European case is complex given the heterogeneity of practices in each state. However, it is possible to identify a more or less common management framework at a continental level throughout the twentieth century. At present, the legislation of UNESCO and the Council of Europe tend to standardize management practices all over the continent. A crucial factor in Europe is the conceptualization of the museum (i.e. Prado, Louvre, etc.) as a fundamental cultural foundation of the legitimacy of the nation state born in the nineteenth century (Sherman, 1989). This


Chapter Four

idea is still very influential and has led to a clear-cut separation between museums and protected areas such as National or Natural parks1, which are more associated with the idea of natural preservation. Actually, National parks appeared relatively late in comparison with the U.S., first in Sweden (1909) and then in Switzerland (1914), Spain (1916) and France in the 1960s. Moreover, several processes and specific forms of management have facilitated the advent of cultural parks throughout the twentieth century: x Scandinavia has a significant tradition of open-air museums where folkloric collections were exposed in contact with nature. Examples include the outdoor section of the first Scandinavian museum of ethnography (1873), origin of the future Nordiska Museet (1880) (Layuno, 2007), and the Skansen museum (1891). The influence of this tradition is clearly discernible in contemporary Scandinavian ecomuseums and cultural parks such as Bergslagen (Hamrin, 1996). x The advent of New Museology and the ecomuseum phenomenon was a turning point in the conception of museums throughout the world (see Desvallées, 1980; Evrard, 2009; Hubert, 1985; Rivard, 1984). The aim of ecomuseums is to become a synthesis of man-nature relationships in time and space (Vergo, 1997) in stark contrast with traditional forms of museums (Corsane & Holleman, 1993; J. Davis & Gardner, 1999; P. Davis, 2000). At the same time it becomes a representative of the community where the ecological traits, the characteristic buildings and folkloric elements converge “in the same way of ethnological outdoor museums” (Rivière, 1993: 189). Ecomuseums were innovative in their quest to become instruments of economic and social growth (Maggi & Falletti, 2000). Subsequent international museum meetings adopted some of its precepts thereof (see General Conference of Icom, 1995; Meijer, 1989) up to the current definition of a “museum-territory” (Ballart & i Tresserras, 2001). Thus, ecomuseums move from the symbolic and representative traditional museum to a conception of museums as producers of identities and territories (Cancellotti, 2011). Although ecomuseums can be considered as immediate antecedents of cultural parks, Balerdi (2008) warns that ecomuseums do not manage cultural landscapes and that most of them are just “open air sites”. 1

National Parks are State-owned areas set aside for the preservation of nature with a view to purposes of recreation. Normally, these are conceived as enclosed spaces with clear limits where human intervention is absent or reduced to a minimum degree.

Charting the Path to Cultural Parks


x The Italian tradition of protected area management is noteworthy because it never conceived parks as enclosed spaces or wildlife sanctuaries but as part of a complex ecological and cultural fabric (Gambino, 1997). Moreover, the Italian paradigm has a strong cultural character, in contrast to the naturalist-functionalist American school. This tradition has resulted in the elaboration of complex “landscape plans” (see Gambino, 1988; Gambino, 1989; Magnaghi, 2005b; Mazza, 2000; Secchi, 2002) that have served as a base for the constitution of cultural parks and cultural park networks such as the one in the Italian Tuscany (Regione Toscana, 1995). Also, the Italian experience stands out in the management of large archaeological sites (see Battaglini, et al., 2002; Orejas, 2001) influencing the development of similar experiences in other countries (Baptista, Pedro, & Fernandes, 2007; Querol, 1993; Sánchez-Palencia Ramos, Ruiz del Árbol, & López Jiménez, 2001). x Probably, the closest precedent to cultural parks is the French regional park scheme operating since the 1960s. Whereas national parks are owned and managed by the State, regional parks are locally-driven initiatives that involve different types of ownership and social actors (Dennis Frenchman, 2004). The parks encompass both natural and cultural heritage resources deemed representative of the French culture, giving preference to spaces threatened by degradation (Hernández Prieto & Plaza Gutiérrez, 2007). According to Lacosta Aragües (1997), natural and cultural heritage conservation is not a scope in itself. Instead, these resources provide the region with an image of quality that supports socioeconomic development, attracting tourism and research and enhancing local capabilities. x Finally, the development of Industrial Archaeology from the 1960s has been a determining factor on both sides of the Atlantic. The discipline has contributed to the transformation of the idea of heritage and its management (Benito del Pozo & Alonso González, 2012). First, it sets out a spatial conception facing the enhancement of industrial sites (Benito del Pozo, 2002). Also, grassroots groups have played an essential role in protecting industrial heritage and bringing its management close to local communities. Finally, Industrial Archaeology practitioners seek to link the industrial remains with socio-economic development (Casanelles Rahola, 1998). The 1970s witnessed the birth of the enhancement projects in New Lanark (Beeho & Prentice, 1997), Le Creusot-les-Mines in France (Jacomy, 1982; Maiullari & Whitehead, 1997) and Ironbridge Gorge in England (Cossons, 1980). Interestingly, these initiatives combine the ideas of Industrial Archaeology and ecomuseums with the traditional concept of museum. Thus, these projects do not embrace the idea of “territorial


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heritage”, but instead create “networks of museums” where the main objective is preservation (Dennis Frenchman, 2004). The Ironbridge’s case is exemplary in this regard. Therefore, these initiatives remain conceived as “territory-museums” (Layuno, 2007: 149). Halfway between these enterprises and cultural parks is the Emscher Park in the Ruhr (Germany). The park was developed throughout the 1980s with the collaboration of seventeenth institutions and different social groups that created a complex territorial network (Schwarze-Rodrian, 1999). In addition to decontaminate the area (Kunzmann, 1999), the main aim was to provide an economic outlet for the region after the industrial decay (B. Brown, 2001; Shaw, 2002). The initiative promotes an open idea of heritage management and has been recently considered as a successful cultural park (Ling, Handley, & Rodwell, 2007). Emscher Park has served as a model for other projects of territorial reinvention after deindustrialisation in Europe (Yáñez, 2008)2.

4.2 United States The National Park scheme in the U.S. began with Yellowstone (1872) and was institutionalized with the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916 (Winks, 1996). Since their beginning, the parks functioned as a “pastoral myth” (Bray, 1994a), that is, as repositories of the national identity (Albright & Cahn, 1985). In a way, they play the role of national museums and their associated national narratives provided by archaeological research in Europe (Marín Suárez, González Álvarez, & Alonso González, 2013). National Parks strive to reach a balance between preservation of natural wilderness and the narration of the conquest of that nature and the events associated with it. The constitution of cultural parks has been a controversial and difficult process to assume in the U.S. due to a deeply rooted idea of parks as conservationist and enclosed spaces with gates that are publicly owned and managed (Bray, 1988). According to Eugster (2003), the creation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1949) and the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (1966) opened the door to the emergence of American cultural parks or National Heritage Areas. Then, from the 1960s onwards there was a shift in the management of the parks associated with the environmentalist turn represented by the ecological planning school in the U.S. (see Steiner, Young, & Zube, 1988; Steinitz, 1968) and landscape ecology in Europe (Forman & Gordon, 1984). This new paradigm 2

See Table 6.

Charting the Path to Cultural Parks


overcomes the idea of a Park as a delimited space to embrace an allencompassing idea of large ecosystems that include socio-cultural elements. Also, the appearance of Industrial Archaeology was a determining factor due to its emphasis on territorial heritage and community involvement. The reactivation programme of the decaying industrial city of Lowell (see David, 1975; Hayward, 1987; Mogan, 1972, 1975; Weible, 1984) broke with previous ideas about what is considered heritage, what is a park, and how to manage them. The “Lowell National Historical Park” paved the way for the emergence of similar initiatives throughout the U.S. such as Blackstone (Kihn et al., 1986) and Lackawanna (McGurl & Kulesa, 2001). The 1980s witnessed the appearance of new spatial and heritage management programmes in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. These State-lead parks seek to improve the regional economy and enhance its heritage values (Bray, 2003). The state of New York fostered the development of a different type of protected spaces denominated “Urban cultural parks” (New York State Parks, 1982). These parks promote the participation of local communities (D. Frenchman & Lane, 1979) and seek to bring the rural to the city following the original idea of Frederick Olmsted to “provide the citizens with the beneficial influences of nature” ( in Bray, 2004b para. 3; Schuyler, 1988). Also, the parks included economic objectives in the urban planning schemes (Cranz, 1982). Gradually, the idea that park planning should be extended to the entire city and then to the region permeated among planners and politicians (Mumford, 1984). These initiatives were set within a context of transformation of the concept of “protected areas” in America. According to Nelson and Sportza (1999) the maintenance of a unilateral management by public bodies is problematic and unsustainable. On one hand, the human dimension is lost in the absence of local participation. On the other hand, the wide variety of public, private and social agents involved in spatial and heritage management today preclude the possibility of an unilateral corporate vision. The National Parks for a new generation report (1985) marked a turning point on the issue. In fact, the report acknowledged that State-led and local initiatives were actually “parks” and should therefore be supported and recognized as such by the National Park Service, which had neglected them hitherto (Alanen & Melnick, 2000)3. Again, Bray (1988) captures the essence of the problem when he states that the difficulties of the current park management schemes have not been 3

See Tables 7 and 8.


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addressed properly. Given the pragmatic need to change the conception of parks, two incipient alternatives have been implemented without any institutional or academic debate on the subject. Firstly, it has been suggested to replace them “by broader environmental policies applied in regional systems” (Bray, 1988: para. 16). Secondly, they have been considered as frameworks to manage whole natural and cultural landscapes. Instead, the best solution for him would be to “create an expanded park idea that will give U.S. the city or region as a park” (Idem: para. 17). Thus, the solution for him would be to recognize and extend the National Heritage Areas management framework throughout large areas of the country. In both the European and American cases the institutional and epistemological transformations are crucial to understand the emergence of cultural parks. However, it would be reductionist to consider that cultural parks are the immediate consequence of the aforementioned developments. In fact, their appearance is equally conditioned by the rise of new socio-economic problems to which cultural parks may pose a solution in one way or another4.


See Table 9.


The aforementioned changes at the academic, institutional and socioeconomic levels have resulted in the emergence of a new form of heritage and space planning that responds to new political and socio-economic problems. This phenomenon, that has received different denominations such as “cultural park”, “heritage park” or “heritage area”, cannot be assimilated to previous forms of management. Also, it is useless to pursue an essentialist definition of “what is a cultural park”. This is so due to the wide variety of legislations, academic, administrative and socio-economic contexts and the intermingling of different former management frameworks. Therefore, it is more functional to provide an outline of a way of doing that is characteristic of cultural parks. As any abstract discourse, this approach reduces the complexity of the phenomenon and sets aside some of its traits. In return, it provides an overview that will bring up the essential elements and controversial issues raised by cultural parks. Thus, the aim is to refocus the study around the key elements that can lead to interesting conclusions in the face of future research.

5.1 From Definitions to Structures The ambivalence and hybrid status of cultural parks has paradoxically encouraged various authors to seek precise definitions of what they are. Actually, the abundance of definitions shows in itself the futility of the enterprise. None is mistaken and all capture a part of the cultural parks phenomenon, but in the end all respond to their own disciplinary and epistemological conditionings. There is no need to quote at length each definition to notice the variety of views on cultural parks. For instance, for the archaeologist Almudena Orejas (2001: 6) it would be an “instrument of heritage coordination”, whereas for the geographer Rubio Terrado (2008: 26) it is “an spatial planning proposal in rural areas”. According to the Cultural Park Act of Aragón (Spain) it would be a “territory where cultural heritage is concentrated and managed” (1997). For Daly, a National Heritage Area


Chapter Five

promoter from the U.S. they are “dynamic regional initiatives that build connections between people, their place, and their history” (2003: 2), while Rosemary Prola considers them as landscapes where “community leaders and residents have come together around a common vision of their shared heritage” (2005: 1). For urban planners Bustamante and Ponce cultural parks are “projects that seek to build an image of regional identity” (2004: 10). Finally, the architect Sabaté considers them as “instruments of projecting and managing that put into value a cultural landscape, whose scope is not only heritage preservation or the promotion of education, but also to favour local economic development” (Sabaté, 2009: 21-22). For him, cultural parks are tightly linked with cultural landscapes, poetically described as “the trace of work on territories, a memorial to the unknown worker” (Sabaté, 2006: 19)1. All these definitions show a tension similar to what Healey (2006, 2007) has identified in the field of spatial planning as a divergence between a “transcendent ideal” of cultural park and the empirical perception of its complexity. Actually, the ambivalences of “landscape” are reproduced in cultural parks. On one side, there is contradiction between existential issues related to identity and a utilitarian vision of space. On the other side, tension arises between those who consider them as future-oriented projects and those who see them as instruments for the preservation of the past. Nevertheless, some elements are repeatedly highlighted in every definition, namely the importance of local participation, the establishment of heterogeneous management partnerships and the “regional vision” of landscape and heritage. However, some definitions pose heritage preservation as the main objective whereas others place economic development in the centre. Thus, for Bustamante and Ponce (2004) the aim would be to construct a strong regional image to achieve the economic objectives. Instead, for Sabaté the first premise is to increase the self-esteem of local communities, tourism will arrive later (Sabaté, 2004a). Daly considers that the main purpose of a cultural park should be to use cultural heritage as a basis for the development of a common project for the future planned by a social group at a regional scale, a view also shared by Casas (2008). These definitions outline a more or less clear definition of cultural parks. However, there is only one work based on specific research on cultural parks (i.e. Sabaté and Frenchman (2001). All the other conceptualizations are built on common-sense reasoning or on occasional practical engagement of the authors in their management. 1

See Appendix 3 “Definitions of cultural parks”

Cultural Parks


5.2 Institutions and Management Schemes in Europe and the United States Despite local variables, the analysis of various cultural parks allows establishing some common trends in the specific ways of doing. One of the most difficult processes to trace is the birth of the idea to create a park. In this respect, as in many others, the American and European contexts differ. In the U.S., most National Heritage Areas arise from local initiatives supported by each State. In some cases the initiative comes from the city council but in others it is groups of heritage enthusiasts, widely denominated “task force”, who promote them. Conzen (2001) points that during the 1990s the habitual promoting groups were local non-profit or public interest organizations, with particular prominence of environmental groups. The participative and consultative character of the American framework contrasts with the European context where the intervention of regional or national institutions is essential. Such a situation is conditioned by the different management traditions and by socio-economic constraints. For instance, it would be strange to receive private financial support to develop a cultural park in continental Europe whereas in the U.S. it is usual2. In Europe, the implementation of cultural parks is carried out through a top-down approach. Although local groups are usually involved, they do it under the framework provided by a regional or national institution (Iranzo García & Albir Herrero, 2009). In any case, the creation of cultural parks is a complex process that varies in accordance to the local context. For example in Aragón (Spain) the trusts governing each cultural park are composed of representatives of the regional government, the University of Zaragoza, local councils and local associations of all kinds, from corporate partnerships to environmentalist groups (Vázquez Varela & Martínez Navarro, 2008). Sabaté (2004b) notes that in the case of Catalonia the development of cultural parks was initially an academic endeavour which found the support of regional institutions and local groups. In fact, the role of Universities in Europe has been essential in facilitating the relation among different social agents and providing expertise, knowledge and support. In the U.S. public support is important in a different way. Contrarily to Europe, the process tends to work from bottom to top. Hence, local groups place pressure on institutions to obtain official recognition in order to facilitate the attraction of private investments. Normally, local promoters 2

See Table 10.


Chapter Five

seek to gain recognition from the Congress and from the National Park Service which has always maintained an ambiguous stance regarding National Heritage Areas. To date, those have been officially recognized by the Congress (Vincent, Whiteman, & Library of Congress. Congressional Research, 2004) but their status remains vague as they have not been integrated within the National Park Service scheme, which provides occasional technical support and funding (Bray, 1995). The local groups run the National Heritage Area through corporate management schemes where it is usual to rely on private cultural resource management consultants and to perform “best practice” contests among them. Also, they develop quantitative tools to measure the impact of the park in the regional economy and qualitative methods to assess the consequences for issues of identity, sense of belonging, etc. (see Hiett, 2007; Vincent, et al., 2004). A situation which is probably motivated by the cut of National Park Service funding after 5 to 15 years after the designation (Copping & Martin, 2005). These sorts of practices and the large number of entities involved in their management have commonly led to denominate National Heritage Areas as partnership parks (see Hamin, 2001; National Park Service, 1991). Actually, the development of National Heritage Areas has been strongly influenced by the parallel expansion of the Cultural Resource Management sector during the 1990s. Heritage consultants have been criticised for their clear utilitarian approach to heritage issues where economic and legal issues prevail (see Birch, 2010). A similar situation can be witnessed in the entrepreneurial character of museum management throughout the U.S. This stands in sharp contrast with the European system, where bureaucratic management prevails and cultural heritage management is usually carried out by archaeologists or architects with little or no presence of economists and lawyers3. The Latin American particularity stems from the existence of larger landscapes than in Europe, which forces managers to include a wide range of heterogeneous resources (Sabaté, 2010). While an standardized conception of cultural park or heritage area has not emerged in the region, there is a wide recognition of the centrality of cultural heritage and cultural landscapes in regional management (Gaiotto & Argollo Ferrão, 2008). Similarly, the vast amount of academic and institutional studies on the relation between cultural landscapes and tourism is a sign of the potential future increase of these kinds of projects (Paes, 2009). Many routes and corridors have emerged (Ramírez, 2011), from the Inca Trail (Tresserras, 2006) to “Camino del Gaucho” (Pesci, 2006). The latter has become an 3

See Table 11.

Cultural Parks


international cultural route that articulates a variety of cultural resources and tourism services structured around a central story or narrative plot. Other cultural landscapes are being articulated as heritage areas stemming from UNESCO declarations such as the Quebrada de Humahuaca (Salleras, 2011), and around specific themes like wine in Colchagua, Chile (Muñoz Parra, 2011), and Mendoza, Argentina (Moreti Baldín, 2008), coffee areas in Colombia (Sarmiento Nova, 2012), or through the creation of parks to enhance agricultural heritage resources in Brazil (Martins Braga & Argollo Ferrão, 2010). We can therefore affirm that future developments in the area will probably move in the direction of articulating some form of cultural or heritage park and to standardize practices and policies in this regard.

5.3 The Inventory and the Story A first step in the implementation of a cultural park is the delimitation of the area to consider as a park. This requires a task of historical documentation and a justification of the boundaries established according to criteria of geographical, administrative or cultural uniformity. Then, promoters normally carry out an inventory and classification of heritage assets in the area which are commonly referred to as resources (Bustamante, 2008). In Europe, inventories are normally carried out by universities or bureaucratic technicians, whereas in the U.S. grassroots groups perform the task. The catalogues provide a homogeneous cartography and data record that facilitate the planning process whereby the structure of the park is defined. According to Sabaté (1998) every successful cultural park must tell a story. Moreover, heritage assets must be organized in a hierarchy in order to fit the narrative of the event or story to be narrated. However, this does not happen in the European cases with the exception of Italian Literary Parks (Barilaro, 2004) and the cultural parks designed by the own Sabaté. Instead, his argument is valid in the U.S. where it is assumed that each National Heritage Area must tell a story such as the conquest of the West, or be associated with an event like a Civil War battle. This has to do with the very origin of the Parks in America as depositories and narrators of the national identity (Bray, 1994a)4. Sabaté notes that the importance of the narrative may be due to the strong roots that storytelling has in American culture. Indeed, he considers that to create a heritage park skills are needed “similar to those of a 4

See Table 12.

Chapter Five


scriptwriter” (Sabaté, 2004b: 23). Consequently, for him the keyword becomes interpretation of the material remains. In fact, some stories deployed in the National Heritage Areas are conceived as or based on films (e.g. George Washington Frontier National Heritage Area, 2009). This would explain the large amount of American parks associated with linear elements or heritage corridors such as rivers, canals, roads and railways that facilitate the deployment of the narrative (see Conzen & Wulfestieg, 2001). In Europe, recognition given by ICOMOS and UNESCO to Heritage Canals (UNESCO, 1994) has raised awareness concerning this type of linear heritage, leading to the implementation of many successful projects such as cultural park Duisburg Nord (Latz, 2004)5. In contrast to the U.S. paradigm, the European vision of cultural parks regards them as sources of territorial identity, ecological balance and economic development. Cultural heritage assets are not ranked according to any unitary pattern. In some occasions, cultural parks bring together homogeneous landscape areas. In other cases they create a regional network that works as an “umbrella” to assemble a number of existing heritage resources and museums. Then, while American National Heritage Areas are relatively easy to associate with a specific topic, European parks amalgamate heterogeneous elements which overlap in the different historical layers of the landscape palimpsest6.

5.4 Objectives, Planning and Legislative Framework I have attempted to show how the structure of the cultural park varies depending on the social group that creates it and the particular heritage and territorial context. It is also important to understand what kinds of objectives are posed by each cultural park and their capacity to achieve them. While each cultural park tends to articulate its aims in relation to the local context, there are a number of recurring objectives in many of them: -

5 6

To link the local people with their heritage and history. To develop mechanisms for heritage conservation in accordance with the “preservation through change” scheme. To improve cooperation and dialogue between institutions and local communities.

See Table 13. See Table 14.

Cultural Parks



To integrate the park in the daily lives of residents, promoting education and improving recreational areas. To pursue sustainable economic development by using heritage to attract tourism and investments7.

After having acquired a good knowledge of the heritage resources and given the objectives posed, it is necessary to develop a management plan that sets out the actions required to create the territorial structure of the park. In Europe, these plans are normally developed by teams of experts from universities or public institutions. In the U.S. the local groups of promoters craft them with the sporadic support of the National Park Service and private consultants. In addition, it is common for the American parks to regularly update the Park guidelines to meet the requirements posed by the Congress and the National Park Service, or to plan the prospective development of the park (Copping & Martin, 2005). The technical issues of architectural design, that have most interested many authors exceed the purpose of this work and will only be superficially reviewed. The essential investigations in this regard are the already mentioned works by Sabaté and Frenchman. Also, a few park projects have been published (Casas, 2006; IMCNHCC, 2000; Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, 2000). According to Sabaté, the design of cultural parks can be equated to the syntax put forward by Kevin Lynch in his book The image of the city (1960). Accordingly, five elements can be clearly identified: -

Global scope and sub-domains of the Park (areas). Heritage resources and services (milestones). Gates, accesses, interpretive centres and museums (nodes). Paths and roads linking the overall structure (routes). Visual and administrative limits of the intervention (edges).

Nonetheless, it is important to consider that what Sabaté is presenting here is his “ideal cultural park scheme” and not a pattern deduced from the analysis of existing cultural parks. Far from being neutral, his vision is distinctly rooted in the interventional American tradition. Thus, design prevails over preservation and efforts are geared towards the artificial reinforcing of the identity of the different elements of the park. For instance, the limits (edges) should be evidenced by the use of vegetation or signposting so that “we always know whether we are inside or outside the park” (Sabaté 1998: 240). This approach would be unthinkable in other 7

See Table 15.


Chapter Five

European cultural parks such as the ones in Toscana or Aragón where the degree of intervention through architectural planning is low. Moreover, it reinstates some of the elements present in traditional parks that allegedly cultural parks overcome. For example, the need to create gates and borders breaks with the conception of landscapes as open and limitless entities. Therefore, his scheme can be easily applied to some American cases where the aforementioned elements and a linear narrative in stages are present, such as Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area (Conzen & Wulfestieg, 2001), Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area (Greer & Russell, 1994), Illinois and Michigan Corridor (Peine & Neurohr, 1981) or the Allegheny Ridge Heritage Park (Frenchman and associates, 1992). In other cases such as the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area (Center for Historic Preservation, 2001) or the Lackawanna Heritage Valley (The Lackawanna valley team, 1991) the system does not work so well and still less in most European cases where the boundaries are diffuse and structures are scarcely linear. Even in the cases where linear cultural parks are planned in Europe as in the Po-Adige (Calzolari, 1991; Piemonte, 1989), the Ripoll (Vidal Palet, 1999) or Besós rivers (Alarcón, Kolb, & Marull, 1997), they are more about a holistic management of heritage and space rather than the design of a park, as Campeol has shown (1990). Accordingly, in Aragón (Spain) cultural parks are considered useful tools in areas with a wide variety of historical, geographical and natural resources to be protected together by legal constraints to promote sustainable development (Hernández & Giné, 2002). This stands in sharp contrast with the Illinois and Michigan Heritage Corridor which as early as 1981 planned to create visitor centres according to a definite plan to tell the story of the canal (Peine & Neurohr, 1981)8. It is clear then that Sabaté’s model is halfway between the “preservation through change” of the Belvedere Nota and European Landscape Convention, and the interventionist U.S. paradigm. In any case, his vision favours a transformation in the forms of designing protected areas, promoting the compatibility of activities and the dialogue among different social agents. This conception of heritage and spatial planning avoids contentious issues like zoning which restricts land use in protected areas and usually produces rejection among local people (Bustamante, 2008). This rejection is particularly strong in the U.S. where planners are well aware of the resistance to land use planning in rural areas (Means, 1999). Therefore, the complexity of cultural parks is also evinced at the level of 8

See Table 16.

Cultural Parks


spatial design. Somewhat, cultural parks “compel” planners to pay similar attention to matters of identity, storytelling and community involvement than to traditional technical issues of architectural planning such as land use, zoning, design, etc. Finally, it is important to note that the tendency for all kinds of protected areas to adopt the management scheme of cultural parks is expected to increase. This is primarily due to the widespread will to link protected areas to economic development. But it is also the result of the increasing social and institutional awareness of the impossibility to manage parks and reserves as islands with defined limits. Actually, most protected areas worldwide face threats to their assets from outside their borders. In the U.S. up to 85% of them are threatened in one way or another (GAO, 1994). This controversial question is impossible to solve through a unilateral management scheme that does not rely on different agents and communities to deal with problems. According to the former National Park Service Deputy Director Denis Galvin "the future of our parks, their ecological integrity and quality of their historic settings, depend on our ability to establish lasting partnerships with adjoining landowners and communities. We must move beyond the old notions about conflicts between parks and adjacent lands to a new era that recognizes the shared interests of parks and their neighbours” (in Bray, 2004a: para. 14). Then, the problem that arises is that legislation is slower than the creation of new parks. As a consequence, these tend to have trouble fitting in the administrative spatial and heritage framework. In this regard, the case of the National Heritage Area in the U.S. is paradigmatic. Despite having been active for more than three decades in some cases, their administrative status remains unclear and ambivalent. Meanwhile, in Europe there is no legal form of cultural park except in some Spanish and Italian regions and the French Regional Park system that could be included in this category. In fact, only the regional governments of Aragón (Spain) and Tuscany (Italy) have established specific laws on cultural parks hitherto. Elsewhere, cultural parks are occasionally included as a generic heritage management tool in heritage legislation (i.e. Spanish regions of Valencia, Asturias, Andalucía and Castilla y León). Therefore, although there is a trend towards the expansion of cultural parks, these remain an unknown, poorly studied and controversial minority. For all these reasons, confusion and commonplace assumptions concerning their conceptualization, implementation and operation still prevail.


This section attempts to identify the distinctive elements of cultural parks with regard to other forms of spatial and heritage management. At the same time, cultural parks are linked with broader topics with particular emphasis on matters concerning heritage issues. Moreover, the chapter explores some controversial issues identifying the elements that need further investigation.

6.1 Governmentality, Local Communities and Spatial Planning “We are living in a shifting and evolving framework for protected areas, nature conservation and sustainable development. This situation is marked by the involvement of many government agencies and private groups … Pluralism needs to be explicitly recognized and to be dealt with in a collaborative rather than a predominantly or exclusively corporate manner” (J. G. Nelson & Sportza, 2000).

The novelty that cultural parks introduce in the field of spatial planning is to place the concept of landscape in the centre of the planning and administrative efforts. This approach assumes that property and territory come together in the concept of landscape, which implies a holistic conception of space. According to Sabaté (2004b) the combination of “nature/culture” in cultural parks replaces previous models of territorial planning based on industry, infrastructures and demography, enabling to find a balance between preservation of the past and sustainable futureoriented creation. Thus, as the Belvedere Nota envisaged, there is a convergence between the tendency to include heritage in spatial planning (Cacho, 2006) and that of extending the concept of archaeological and heritage site to encompass large areas (Ballesteros Arias, et al., 2004). As previously mentioned, this marks a break with previous planning forms which prioritized zoning and land use without considering landscape identity and the various viewpoints


Chapter Six

of stakeholders (Lamme, 1989). Also, this shift enables planners to avoid the controversial traditional sectoral policies where the management of heritage, forests, infrastructures, space, etc. corresponded to different entities without coordination, a situation deriving from the positivist planning theory of Faludi (1987)1. However, as Bray (1994a) points out, the fact that the projection and implementation of cultural parks require the participation of so many fields of knowledge has left them outside the academic debate and the different administrative frameworks. Still, according to Sabaté (2004b), interdisciplinarity is the only factor that ensures the possibility of accounting for the complexity of managing landscapes. This would be necessary because every cultural park implies the notion of project and a subsequent territorial intervention, which raises the fundamental problem of how to translate landscape and heritage identity into physical planning and management. Here lies the essential difficulty, which is that landscapes are ambivalent and move in a twofold dimension. Similarly, most spatial planning paradigms, either culturalist or naturalist, tend to act exclusively on the material dimension. Consequently, these approaches to landscape generate representations that reify and objectify it, thus eroding the linkage with the local inhabitants. A similar phenomenon to what occurs in the field of conservation (Handler, 1985) or what Byrme terms the thingification of heritage (2009). In this regard, Bustamante (2008) argues that the only legitimate way to overcome this impasse is to allow and encourage the local people to participate in the construction of the representation of their own territory through the idea of cultural park as a common project. In any case, the proposal put forward by Bustamante to overcome the representational impasse is more discursive than real. This is so because it is planners themselves who determine the conditions under which local communities are involved and participate in the cultural park, especially in Europe. Also, it is common to use the term “community” as a fixed element that exists “out there”, in a world which is ”more or less specific, clear, certain, definable and decided” (Law, 2004: 24-25) along with other concepts such as “groups, individuals, race, attitudes, intentions, the State, societies or symbols” that spatial planners take for granted (Alvesson, 2002: 52). Therefore, the holistic understanding of cultural parks becomes troublesome if spatial planners maintain that they can create accurate and valid representations of landscape and heritage objects in texts, maps and 1

See Table 17.

Some Issues for Discussion


plans (Hillier, 2008). Also, the will of planners to focus on community inclusion, an issue that is clearly present on cultural parks, is questionable. In most cases, “inclusion” means the depolitisation of conflicts and the legitimisation of government and private sector interests (Gunder, 2010). The community becomes a one-dimensional entity that unites to compete for the scarce resources available from the State and the market. Then, people would “leave “old” antagonisms behind and become reasonable, rational, sensible, communicative, responsible agents with smooth relations with central government and its funding bodies” (Baeten, 2009: 247). Thus, ideological deconstruction and political antagonism are negated by “particularizing and making locally contestable what have traditionally been universal demands of class based on equity and fairness” (Gunder, 2010: 302). Probably, a field investigation would point to a greater distance between the viewpoints of local groups and planners of what literature on cultural parks reveals. Still, assuming that the inclusion of local communities in cultural park planning and development was real and set into practice, it would be problematic. The question arises of which groups within the community are responsible for carrying out the representation of landscape and heritage, whose interests and objectives they serve and what values they promote. Also, the fact that cultural parks are regional projects where the views of “what should landscape stand for” can vary widely from one place to another cannot be overlooked. Actually, it is usual that local groups responsible for implementing cultural parks regard the past as something alien, stable and reified (Merriman, 1991; Mowaljarlai, Vinnicombe, Ward, & Chippindale, 1988). Only then it is possible for these groups to consider themselves and their heritage as a resource “to value”. A process through which selfknowledge and self-expression become repositories of value underpinning the enhancement process (Corsin Jimenez, 2009). Actually, there is no intrinsic relation between community and heritage, it “is a relation constituted after gaining awareness of the potential value an asset can have for life within an environment” (Guerra & Skewes, 2008: 30). Therefore, the projection of the park that a group elaborates may not satisfy the entire community, and may not correspond with the ideas of planners. For example, according to Knight ”green groups are typically the drivers of Heritage Areas … These are oftentimes the initiative of national organizations or small wealthy organizations within the locality” (2006b). Moreover, in many occasions planners and local groups intend to use the cultural park as a way to reconstruct the local civil society (Prola, 2005). However, the potential of heritage to function as a kernel of local


Chapter Six

belonging and participation is uncertain and varies in each case (Zapatero, 2002). Hence, whereas in Bergslagen (Sweden) the cultural park has served to promote participatory social democracy, in the U.S. there are complaints pointing that some parks benefit local oligarchies (Parker, 2011, March 2; J. Peyton Knight, 2002). It is therefore impossible to judge the role played by cultural parks in general without specific ethnographic case studies. In any case, to acknowledge that people and their way of seeing and understanding place is a constituent part of landscapes in a similar way to its material components hardly fits with current forms of management and planning (Phillips, 2003). Actually, while institutions discursively accept and adapt the terminology of landscapes, they are not ready to manage them without reducing landscapes to their objective dimension (Lothian, 2000). These contradictions between representation and reality connect cultural parks with a general transformation in the forms of governmentality (sensu Michel Foucault, 2007) towards management schemes that involve a wider number of agents, a shift that directly affects issues of heritage and space management (Gunder & Hillier, 2007). This change has been facilitated by the advent of neo-liberal policies advocating a weak state and the hybridisation of market and State whereby public tasks are adapted to the corporate logic (Michael Hardt & Negri, 2009). In fact, current forms of spatial planning rely on competitive market logics, combining the reality of globalisation with an ideology of utopian transcendent ideals of economic sustainability, community participation, etc. (see Kipfer & Keil, 2002; McGuirk, 2007). Then, cultural parks can only be understood within this new governmentality and spatial planning framework. In fact, from the viewpoint of the modern governmentality scheme, cultural parks would represent a threat as they entail a loss of legitimacy for the State. On one hand, the State delegates (not decentralizes) significant management tasks in civic local groups (especially in the U.S.), which affects one of the pillars of the modern State: the control over territory, people and heritage as a source of legitimacy (see García Canclini, 1990; M. Hardt & Negri, 2000). On the other hand, it means the recognition of heritage and landscape as a common dimension of a social group. This undermines the prevailing liberalist and individualist ideas as evidenced by the angry reactions of the Property Rights Association against National Heritage Areas in the U.S. (2004; 2005; J. Peyton Knight, 2006a). The paradox of the American experience is that whereas cultural park promoters gain independence and capacity to act aside from the State, at the discursive level their performance is oriented primarily towards the

Some Issues for Discussion


legitimising of the idea of “nation” through the narration of its founding myths and great deeds. A disjunction Lazzarato (2009) identifies as characteristic of neo-liberalism. On one side, it promotes a “hipertechnification” and enlargement of the private sphere at the expense of the State, while on the other side it reinvigorates the “neo-archaisms” of nation, race, family, etc. Thus, the significance of heritage as an instrument to reinforce national identity (see Boswell & Evans, 1999; Meskell, 1998; Tsing et al., 2009) reaches a new dimension with cultural parks where heritage intersects with the neo-liberal context (see Herzfeld, 2005). In relation with the issue of governance, Bray (2004b) compares the complexity of tackling climate change with managing a cultural park. It could be said that cultural parks involve a similar turning point for heritage management than climate change for environmental science in the 1990s. That change influenced not only the environmental sciences but also forms of governance, deriving in the rise of novel proposals for political and scientific organization based on cooperation and dialogue between actors such as MODE2 (Nowotny, Scott, & Gibbons, 2007) or Post-normal science (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 2000). These currents acknowledge the impossibility of reaching a “scientifically accurate” solution for several problems and the inability to continue to deal with them unilaterally. The same goes for cultural parks and heritage, for which there is no ideal or universally valid projection, that is, no intrinsic answer to the question of what is to be done with cultural parks and heritage. Thus, what the Belvedere Nota openly acknowledged becomes apparent: all landscape and heritage planning attempt is essentially political (Miró Alaix, 1997). This realization evinces the futility of thinking that “planners” representations of people and space are value-free and objective” (Hillier, 2008: 25). However, the Belvedere Nota is a document intended to reach the discursive and institutional levels aiming to implement a policy in a territory. Instead, cultural parks work at a different political plane because they do not only act at the discursive or metacultural level (see Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 2004). They must deal with real-world situations, producing subjectivities at the local and regional scale through the use of heritage. In the “messy” politics of cultural parks, discourses are important but do not determine the final outcome of the enterprise.

6.2 Preservation through Change? The traditional perception of the park as a delimited space linked to the ideals of preservation, recreation and scientific management of natural and


Chapter Six

cultural sites is still pervasive among the European and American populations (Carr, 2007). To assess and create these Parks the prevailing ideas of significance were the possession of impressive scenic views, scientific or historic values (MacGimsey & Davis, 1984). At the epistemological and academic levels the conservationist paradigm has been criticised from different positions. Adorno already pointed to the close relation of this ideal with Rousseau’s naïve return to a state of nature (1983). In fact, most parks generate an artificial wilderness as they actually are “intensively managed spaces subject to myriad crosscutting interests” (Meskell, 2007: 386) that strive to represent the nation’s purest and most altruistic expression. For Lucas the conservationist stance of these initiatives “stop the clock for material remains, but in doing so, help to create the very distance and disconnection to the present that archaeological narratives try so hard to close” (Lucas, 2005: 126). Cultural parks distance themselves from preservationist parks, refraining from turning the landscape into a museum and recognizing its dynamism and the fact that only its monitored transformation can ensure the endurance of heritage and regional identity (Nogué i Font, 2005). Preservation through change is the motto (Sabaté, 2006)2. Again, this idea adapted from the Belvedere Nota is problematic as it was intended only for the material dimension of space and cannot account for the intangibles of landscape. Despite the positive rhetoric of discourse, cultural park designers end up promoting the same materialistic logic because, after all, it is the “physical features, elements and heritage areas which endow a landscape with a specific identity. Therefore, we believe that a cultural landscape enhancement project needs to be conceptualized from its tangible manifestations” (Bustamante, 2008: 246). From this standpoint, preservation means conservation of the material forms, while change connotes the touristification/commodification of these forms. The core of the problem lies in the essentialist consideration of material heritage remains as “the expression of the identity and memory of a community” (Sabaté, 2006: 342). From this viewpoint, territorial heritage would work as a signifier of a deeper signified in the form of social memory or identity. Thus, this move overlooks the problem of dealing with the question of the different dimensions of the landscape. Moreover, when landscape and heritage are linked to an “existential dimension” they become more valuable for touristic purposes. Therefore, rather than “preservation through change”, what this conception of


See Table 18.

Some Issues for Discussion


planning entails is the commodification of heritage, or better, of landscape as heritage (Birch, 2010). In this respect, Mitchell (2001) coincides with Harvey (2001) in highlighting that in situations of “creative destruction” or heritage commodification converge the entrepreneurial drive to accumulate profit, the need of capitalism to reinvent itself and the social desire to accumulate nostalgia or, with Urry (1990) signposts of the past and aesthetic experience. For Taylor and Konrad (1980) economic factors are secondary. The key role of heritage would be to satisfy the human psychological need to establish continuity between present and past. Moreover, Connerton (1989, 2009) believes that this shared representation of memory is a prerequisite for maintaining social order and, according to Grenville (2007), individual stability as well. Parr (2008) goes further affirming that market forces impede U.S. to forget because memory can be turned into capital. From this perspective, the rhetoric held by Jameson (1991) who argued that postmodernism fosters amnesia loses its sense. From another point of view, Criado-Boado (2001) points to the possibility of a positive use of memory as the foundation for a social project for the future based on some shared social values. Cultural parks are placed halfway between these extremes. On one hand, they promote the preservation of the past and the reification of memory for tourist purposes. On the other hand, cultural parks involve a common vision of what the residents in a region want their future to be and how to get there (Prola, 2005). On one side, cultural parks strive to differentiate themselves from preservationist parks. On the other side they mark the distances with theme parks as symbols of the maximum degree of commodification, reification and deterritorialization of space. Accordingly, Sabaté considers that the border between theme park and cultural park can be very thin if the past and memory are reduced to performances managed through commercial strategies. Therefore, every cultural park should “offer a type of service that is closely linked to a region’s cultural identity” (Sabaté & Frenchman, 2001: 47). In a similar vein, Daly considers that in contrast to other “inauthentic” touristic destinations, cultural parks are “the expression of the people who live, work and shape the land” that “provide a bridge connecting the past with the present and the people to their place” (2003: 4). Interestingly, Disneyland has been used from time to time as a yardstick to measure the degree of authenticity in heritage sites (see AlSayyad, 2001 among others; Gable & Handler, 1996; O’Guinn & Belk, 1989; Solà-Morales, 1998; Teo & Yeoh, 1997). As is the case with


Chapter Six

cultural parks, theme parks have been poorly researched. Theme parks are areas of corporate management (see Atkins, Simmons, & Roberts, 1998; Sorkin, 1992) that through the spatialisation of imagination organize an area around one or several issues in order to make profits (Chassé & Rochon, 1993; Eyssartel, Rochette, & Baudrillard, 1992). The great difference from cultural parks is that theme parks can not be defined by the identity or by the relationships established by its inhabitants, but rather by the absence of memory and society (Augé, 2008). The American National Heritage Area experience is close to theme parks in that they tell a highly abstract story, with the significant difference that this story is supposedly based on a scientific narrative. Nonetheless, the long-term consequences of the heritage-tourism combination are unpredictable and tend to generate a disjunction between material culture and social memory (C. J. A. Mitchell & Coghill, 2000). Well-known examples are the touristification process of the historic centres of Barcelona (D. Harvey, 2002; Tironi, 2009) and Singapur (Teo & Huang, 1995), or places such as Puy du Fou where it is impossible to tell whether it is a cultural area or a theme park (Martin & Suaud, 1992). The issue of theme parks should not be taken lightly as they are being highly influential in the ways of producing space, urbanism and society in the U.S. and beyond (Bryman, 1999). This trend is characterised by the promotion of the thematisation of territories with a view to their inclusion into a new economic model based on leisure (Clavé, 1999). Far from causing a postmodern spatial relativism of empty signifiers à la Baudrillard (1994), this situation fosters a widespread rationalization of space and of the relations of production and consumption (Ritzer & Liska, 1997). Interestingly, theme parks are breaking with preconceived notions by including well-documented ethnographic exhibitions and creating sustainable urban projects like “Celebration City” (Didier, 1999; Frantz & Collins, 2000). More interesting is the recent turn of theme parks towards a lower degree of thematisation and abstraction, a fact that brings them closer to cultural parks. Starting from the adaptation of Disneyland to France (Y. Altman, 1995) and China ( O’Brien, 1999), theme parks are undergoing a shift towards the hybridization with local history and heritage (Jones, Robinett, & Zito, 1993). This phenomenon is particularly intense in Southeast Asia where their number increases exponentially (Robertson, 1993). Therefore, cultural parks can be included within an overall socioeconomic shift towards the leisure sector and the thematization of space (Molitor, 1999). Currently, cultural parks differ from theme parks in many obvious ways: they are not run by corporations, involve different actors,

Some Issues for Discussion


start from a given empirical context, etc. However, it is important to reframe the terms of the debate and set cultural parks in a context where the boundaries between leisure and culture, identity and economy, heritage and tourism are blurred. From this standpoint, it becomes possible to analyze how each cultural park is organized and articulated diversely depending on its main tendency: to set up closer bonds with the territory and local communities, to use it as a background to deploy an abstract narrative for tourists, and so on.

6.3 A Story for whom? Many cultural Parks in Europe and especially in the U.S. are structured around the narration of a story. For instance, the Llobregat Cultural Park tells the story of work in the Llogregat river under the slogan “Europe’s hardest working river” (Casas 2004), the Blackstone Valley (Worcester Historical Museum & Chafee, 2009) narrates the story of the industrial revolution in the area whereas the South Carolina Heritage Corridor (2005) tells the story of the Civil War. According to Sabaté (2002) the story narrated has to be original and work as the backbone of the park. Hence, it must attach meanings to objects, create hierarchies and facilitate the creation of links among different heritage areas. Moreover, the story enables the public to venture into the territory following a definite pattern, instead of visiting a mere juxtaposition of elements (Miró Alaix, 1997). From this perspective, the story can be equated to what Zaera-Polo (2008) has called “the envelope” in architecture. His theory, discussed and extended by Žižek (2010), considers the façade of the building as an envelope that materializes the division between inside and outside. Therefore, it is immanently political as it defines the boundary between inclusion and exclusion. Also, it is conceived as an aesthetic mechanism that attracts people acting as a representation towards the exterior that generates value in the process. The envelope works as a device to affect and communicate with people, to order visibilities, distribute spaces and plan movements, to convey messages and feelings. In a somewhat similar fashion to the façade, the story can be conceived as an aesthetic device sustained by scientific knowledge whose objective is to attract external visitors and generate profit. It is politically loaded because as discursive processes, stories can convey all kind of meanings (Shaviro, 1993) and affect micropolitical realities (Connolly, 2007). Also, stories can reproduce dominant narratives and disregard the histories of less powerful groups (S. Hall, 2000). For instance, the main aim of National Heritage Areas is to tell the founding myths of the nation, deeds


Chapter Six

of heroism and progress that convey a univocal and fixed idea of the past. For instance, the proposal to establish the George Washington Frontier Area as a National Heritage Area states that its main aim is to narrate the struggle of “the Nation” against Native Americans along with the heroic acts of George Washington (2009). Therefore, discursive statements in cultural park plans that emphasize the potential of heritage to foster inclusion are undermined by real practices deploying exclusionary narratives. At the same time, the story conditions the organization of the internal parts of the cultural park. The physical organization of paths, museums, heritage sites and hotels, the value attributed to the sites and marketing strategies are all related to the story being told. To analyze cultural parks according to their story or lack of it may provide a better framework to establish classifications that could be related to social and politically relevant issues. Then, instead of elaborating lists with types of parks it would be more functional to speak of degrees of complexity and abstraction of the story being told3. Further research is needed in order to clarify who is responsible for crafting the story, as it is not possible to elucidate it from the literature about cultural parks. The “ideal Cultural Park scheme” sketched by Sabaté (2004b) sets out a solid interdisciplinary research as a support for the story. Also, some landscape archaeologists consider that part of their research should focus on providing a narrative for territorial projects of interpretation such as cultural parks. The aim and the challenge would be to render landscapes understandable and meaningful for a wide audience without oversimplifying those (Criado-Boado, 1996; Orejas, 2001). Nevertheless, none of the cultural parks reviewed or academic accounts of them define a clear strategy for creating the story. Another point of discussion is the affirmation put forward by Sabaté (2006) that cultural parks lacking a story are less successful in terms of economic development and local involvement. It is impossible to assess the validity of this claim as it is rare to find accounts of failed projects. In fact, only one of the cultural parks reviewed has been deemed unsuccessful. This is the case of the Albarracín Cultural Park (Spain) which despite its outstanding cultural richness (Merino, 2005) has not reached the objectives posed by the original plan (Pascual Rubio Terrado, 2008). Actually, this example would support Sabaté’s claim because the Albarracín Cultural Park does not deploy a story. However, many other factors could be involved in its failure. The study of failed projects is 3

See Scheme 1.

Some Issues for Discussion


another interesting area of research as the leftovers of modernity can offer as much information as successful enterprises (Lien & Law, 2011). To avoid becoming a failure, the story told by the park cannot be only oriented towards the exterior to attract visitors, but must take into account the local perspective as well. Drawing an analogy with architecture, Zizek states that “managers cannot simply rely on performances to provide a sufficient attraction; the building must create a new experience, and a sense of place, for its increasingly demanding audience” (2010: para. 29). Thus, it is essential for cultural parks to maintain a certain internal cohesion and identification with local communities if they are to keep a high degree of place attachment. Nonetheless, the issue of place attachment and belonging is quite complex and involves several factors such as affect and amusement (Proshansky & Fabian, 1987), cognitive factors (Williams, Patterson, Roggenbuck, & Watson, 1992) or environmental ones (I. Altman & Low, 1992; Vorkinn & Riese, 2001). With regard to cultural parks, the most challenging issue is to be able to represent the different perspectives of the local community. A failure to do so could entail the exclusion of minorities that may not feel attached to the story told or the heritage elements enhanced. In fact, exclusionary or assimilationist narratives such as those deployed in some National Heritage Areas can foster a sense of identity associated with a reactionary vocabulary (D. Harvey, 1996: 202; Keith & Pile, 1993: 20; Massey, 1994: 169-171) and a concept of community subject to exclusionary impulses (I. M. Young, 1990: 236). Also, multiculturalist policies such as the Belvedere Nota have been criticised as well (see Vink & van der Burg, 2006). Despite seeking to preserve the heterogeneity of territories through heritage and landscape conservation, this is done for the sake of keeping the singularity of the dominant one (Badiou, 2000). Multiculturalism can be considered as an upper-middle class western liberal phenomenon (Zizek & Schelling, 1997) willing only “to accommodate a filtered other which conforms to dominant liberal-capitalist standards” (Hillier, 2007: 116). Furthermore, Nancy Fraser considers multiculturalism and identity politics in general as a way of undermining claims for socio-economic redistribution (1997). Then, the challenge for cultural parks is to create inclusive stories without stopping the clock of material past remains. This would enable cultural park promoters to avoid conveying a fixed image of the past that supplants “a community’s memory-work with its own material form” (J. E. Young, 1992: 272-273). Failing to do so would preclude different social groups from feeling attached to the cultural park project and could cause a disjunction between representation and reality. Instead, when cultural


Chapter Six

parks are conceived as common projects for the future, they can provide a novel alternative to the dichotomy of multiculturalism and assimilationist policies. To do so, identity can not be considered as an essence but as an active process driven by “the capacity to form new relations, and the desire to do so” (Buchanan, 1997: 83). The most original cultural parks such as Val di Cornia (Italy) are already moving in this direction with positive outcomes hitherto (Riccardo Francovich, 2003).

6.4 Nature – Culture and the Conflict over Representation Allegedly, one of the main differences between cultural parks and other types of parks and protected areas is that their performance does not establish an a priori separation between the natural and cultural planes. This affirmation is reflected in two patterns of empirical functioning: 1. Projects where different natural and cultural resources are brought together under one “umbrella” designation, such as Aragon’s Cultural Parks or the majority of National Heritage Areas in the U.S. 2. Projects in which the concept of landscape is placed in the centre of the planning efforts, assuming that nature and culture converge in it. This is the case of the Llobregat, Val di Cornia or Bergslagen cultural parks. In the first case it is clear that the overcoming of the dichotomy is merely discursive. Actually, in these parks resources are assorted since the early stages of the project under the customary watertight categories of nature-culture, tangible-intangible, etc. This view sets out an utilitarian conception of space (Zimmer, 2008) that reveals how institutions and academic disciplines are not prepared to work without the cardinal epistemological divisions of modernity (Couston, 2005). In the second case the matter is more complex. By placing landscape in the centre of planning, the hybrid condition of reality and the impossibility to split nature and culture are assumed. However, the use of the concept of landscape brings about the dilemmas of its twofold reality: to be a fragment of a territory and its abstract representation. Thus, the question outlined before arises again articulated in a different way: how can cultural park planners and promoters generate abstract cultural representations of landscape, interpreting and managing it, without losing the link with its natural dimension? Actually, this issue is related to the hermeneutical and postmodern readings of landscape that reformulate their ambivalence in terms of the signifier – signified couple. Accordingly, “landscape encompasses more

Some Issues for Discussion


than an area of land with a certain use or function … and the immaterial existential values and symbols of which the landscape is the signifier” (Antrop, 2006: 188). This interpretation is recurrently reproduced by cultural park promoters for whom landscapes are the expression of the memory and identity of a region (Bustamante & Ponce, 2004). Thus, when a landscape is enhanced and the influx of tourism transforms the area the reading that follows is that there has been a break between the existential and material dimensions, signified and signifier (e.g. Knudsen & Greer, 2008). These interpretations derived from the philosophy of Baudrillard have influenced the field of heritage studies as well. For instance, Lowenthal (1986) establishes a break between a supposedly neutral “real history” and heritage as a “fake”, a stance that has conditioned the works of many authors (see Olshin, 2007; Peleggi, 1996; Waitt, 2000). From my standpoint, it is useless to apply this interpretation to cultural parks because it rearticulates the nature-culture split into another false dichotomy between copy and original (Massumi, 1987). Also, it ignores the fact that many variables that affect the configuration of heritage and cultural parks like identity, memory or the functioning of the market cannot be reduced to a textual representation based on the signifiersignified couple (Guattari, 1980). In reality, there is no original landscape or nature to which the representation has to fit rigorously. Therefore, to say that there has been a break between reality and representation is merely an empty affirmation (Massumi, 1987). What is at question is to understand cultural parks and its heritage assets as original creations or emergent realities that transform the previous context through the negotiation and rearticulating of meanings, affects, power relations, material forms, etc. Hence, cultural parks transform the relation of a society with space. This task is inherently political because value systems and dominant beliefs are reflected in the ways through which space is created. Ideology shapes what each person deems important and conditions planning objectives and long term goals (Gunder & Hillier, 2007). Against this background, it is now clear that landscape and heritage, nature and culture have become assets among many others within a society that shamelessly blends spectacle and production (N. Thrift, 2006). Therefore, it is crucial to analyze in specific cases how a cultural park articulates the balance between nature and culture in the production of new spaces. Only then will it be possible to elucidate whether these categories are still considered and managed separately or if on the contrary they are interpreted as a whole and managed as such.


Chapter Six

6.5 Economic Forces and Cultural Parks “The name itself for this national heritage area raises serious questions. It seems improper, even indecent, to name this the Hallow Ground Corridor and claim it is to appreciate, respect and experience this cultural landscape that makes it uniquely American, when it tramples on the very principles of private property rights, individual liberty and limited government that the Founding Fathers risked and gave their lives for” (R.J. Smith in National Center for Public Policy Research, 2006: 4).

The existence of parks and nature reserves has been tied to economic matters since its inception, when the Northern Pacific Railroad supported the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 (Sellars, 1999). At that time, Omlsted estimated the huge impact of Central Park in increasing real estate values in adjacent areas of New York (Cranz, 1982). At the municipal and regional levels, economic development and parks have always been in close relation. However, economic issues were always considered as external to the development of the park. The Urban Park system created in the 1980’s by the New York State was the first project to include economic development among its main goals (Bray, 2004b). The plan considered four areas where the parks influenced economic development: tourism, increment in real estate values, knowledge workers and retirees that would be attracted to work and live and homebuyers that would purchase homes (Bray, 1994b). Despite this intrinsic relation between parks and economy, the scarce scholarship about cultural parks has neglected both macroeconomic and local economy issues, only referring succinctly to the potential of cultural parks to foster sustainable development. It is important to consider that the creation of cultural parks is framed within a general process of financialisation of economy in Europe and North America (Rullani, 1993). This process leads to the concentration of wealth and profit in large metropolis whereas the productive sectors or “real economy” tend to disappear (see Lucarelli, 2009; Marazzi, 2010). Then, there is an overall passage from a paradigm of profit generation towards a model where rent becomes crucial in its many forms: territorial, financial, real estate, etc. (D. Harvey, 2002; Vercellone, 2008). The vast spaces that remain between the metropolises lose their productive function (relocated in Asia or South America) and go on to become junkspace (Koolhaas, 2002) or just abandoned areas. Consequently, territories are forced to re-invent themselves. A good option is to do it through the enhancement of landscape and heritage that become sources of territorial rent (Rullani, 2009). For some, this is a subtle way to disguise

Some Issues for Discussion


what in reality are processes of touristification of areas (Bertoncello & Geraiges de Lemos, 2006) placing ecological and cultural objectives in the background (Rojek & Urry, 1997). From this perspective, cultural parks could be considered as devices to control, articulate and extract rent from heritage and landscape. The issue becomes patent when moving away from the Western context. In Asia, for example, the current relevant question is not how to gain profit from cultural landscapes, but how to protect them from massive development and industrialisation (K. Taylor, 2009; K. Taylor & Altenburg, 2006). This generic framework is structured in various ways at the local level. For example, Hays considers that in the U.S. there is a historic opposition between a utilitarian vision of territory focused on economic development, represented by the West and an environmentalist perspective in accordance to the values of the East (1999). This context places National Heritage Area promoters under pressure to demonstrate both the economic and environmental viability of their projects to local communities and the institutions and corporations that support them, something that happens to a lesser extent in Europe. In Europe, the need to link cultural parks and sustainable economic development is emphasized. Without getting into the review of this concept (see Great Britain. Sustainable Development Commission & Jackson, 2010; Latouche & Harpagès, 2010) it is important to note that its birth and implementation relied on the existence of a strong welfare state (Huber & Stephens, 2001). Quite the contrary to the current situation where the weakness of central administrations and institutions is patent and heritage preservation tends to be set aside. Further investigation is required to understand how cultural parks manage to attain sustainability in this adverse environment and what would be the role of heritage in the process. Furthermore, it should be noted that the main factor of development in cultural parks is tourism. Thus, it would be essential to research in empirical contexts how the issue of sustainability is articulated with the couple heritage-tourism that has prompted so much research (see Jolliffe & Smith, 2001; Poria, Butler, & Airey, 2003; Prentice, 2001; Silberberg, 1995). According to Sabaté (2004b) there are two types of tourism: a tourism that can be done anywhere and the kind of tourism offered in cultural parks where the visitor comes into contact with the local identity and culture. However, the question is more complex. First, because it is difficult to maintain a sustainable economy based on tourism (Precedo & Míguez 2007). Secondly, because in most cases the interpretation and presentation of cultural assets has to adapt to the requirements of foreign


Chapter Six

visitors, usually urban and with specific tastes (Almirón, Bertoncello, & Troncoso, 2006). This is known as the passage from product-driven tourism to consumer-driven tourism which can cause a disjunction between the touristic product and the local interpretation and enjoyment of heritage (Apostolakis, 2003). Thus, the process of selection and heritage enhancement is twofold. First, the promoters decide which assets should be enhanced. Afterwards, the tourists perform a second selection that may not match the choice of the promoters (Almirón, et al., 2006). Accordingly, some authors consider that tourists end up consuming just a symbol that obliterates history and deterritorialises the material reality of the place (Knudsen & Greer, 2008). In this sense Terrado and Hernández are clear: for cultural heritage to have use value and generate benefits it must meet a social demand (2007). Therefore, cultural parks must be able to generate a representation of landscape and heritage that meets external demands without overlooking the interests of the local community. Similarly, the cultural park must contest the tendency to override the heterogeneity of landscape and heritage brought about by the implementation of planning regulations and heritage enhancement plans (Tonts & Greive, 2002). If a cultural park homogenizes and reifies the landscape for tourist consumption it remains exposed to contestation from other agents with different perspectives on what do landscape and heritage should stand for. The dispute over the property rights in the U.S. is exemplary in this regard. The Property Rights association believes that the National Heritage Area system violates the basic principles of the American State, deadening economic development and enabling environmentalist groups to take over control of land use (J. Peyton Knight, 2005). National Heritage Areas represent for them a veiled form of expansion of the bureaucratic state regulations under the guise of protecting heritage (see Breglia, 2006 on heritage and the expansion of bureaucratic management; Herzfeld, 2006 ). According to James Burling “the legacy we will leave to future generations will not be the preservation of our history, but of the preservation of a façade masquerading as our history subverted by the erosion of the Rights that animated our history for the first two centuries of the Republic” (National Center for Public Policy Research, 2006: 3). Similarly, Joe Waldo considers that “the elderly, minorities and the poor are most impacted by regulatory measures that restrict property owners in the use of their land” (National Center for Public Policy Research,: 3). Therefore, advocates of the Property Rights have a different ontological conception of heritage. Accordingly, heritage is not a material, tangible remain but an intangible way of doing, in this case the founding principles

Some Issues for Discussion


of the American State based on private ownership and utilitarianism. For them, what Americans share is a set of ideals that cannot be reduced to any material expression. In conclusion, it is useless to understand economy and culture as incommensurable fields (Gudeman, 1986), the former dealing with quantification and concreteness, the latter with abstraction and qualification. In cultural parks both fields mingle in a constant interaction between economic and cultural interests in a wide sense. This situation is related to the different understandings of landscape and heritage each park deploys. These tend to be either materialist and objective or existential and subjective. Also, for each social group heritage and landscape holds a different ontological status. That is, in every cultural park there are not only different material remains but also diverse ways of understanding, valuing and representing these remains. Therefore, each cultural park must be articulated in a different manner to adapt to the local reality adequately without losing sight of its objectives. Only the empirical analysis of specific cases could shed light on how this process is put into action.


“On neither side [rationalist and culturalist] are systematic explanations for political and economic outcomes being integrated with contextually informed analyses of social relations. Yet we need works of such combinatorial weight more than ever before, in a world where global endeavours cross multiple contexts” (P. Hall, 2007: 134).

The objective of this section is to set out the foundation of a methodology for the ethnographic study of cultural parks. As Castañeda (2008) remarks, all methodologies are derived from a specific theoretical framework, whether explicitly or not. Accordingly, a novel theoretical formulation of cultural parks that connects them to the methodology constructed is developed and exposed. This “theoretical image” has been elaborated from the foregoing reflections on landscapes and cultural parks, and from the review of theories and methods of other authors from different disciplines that can be tailored to suit the analysis of cultural parks. Also, the methodologies employed so far for the study of cultural parks have been critically reviewed. In this sense, the main reference is the work of Sabaté, subsequently extended by another member of his research group, Bustamante. Another key investigation is the collaboration between the research teams of Sabaté-Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPCand Frenchman-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT-(2001). Each team studied nine cultural parks in their respective geographical contexts using different methodologies. The UPC team developed a morphological and typological approach that focused on the identification of patterns in the resources and the physical manifestations of each cultural park. Instead, the MIT team was less faithful to their architectural disciplinary root. They developed a structural and broader approach focusing in the history and evolution of


Chapter Seven

the Parks, the role of the institutions, the story narrated through the cultural resources and finally their physical design. According to them, this disparity can be related to the different regional planning traditions in Europe and the U.S. For both, the eighteen cultural parks studied fall under three close-cut categories: river corridors, industrial or agricultural parks. Also, cultural parks seem to be the result of some institutional decision or master plan put into operation through the use of technology. Either way, both approaches are rather reductionist. In Sabaté’s case, cultural parks are merely considered as planning projects and classified according to their physical shape or prevailing heritage resources1. In Frenchman’s case, cultural parks are reduced to their historical evolution and institutional structure. Bustamante (2008) extends their work in an attempt to combine both methodologies, achieving similar outcomes. He widens the range of parks studied and elaborates more accurate classifications. Also, he connects cultural parks to planning and architectural theory, considering those as the most evolved planning instrument for rural areas. In any case, their approaches do not provide a useful framework to develop a holistic explanation of cultural parks as they leave no room for complex relations and processes. Theirs is a good example of how methodologies create what researchers are looking for (Law, 2004), revealing the tight links between methods and theoretical standpoints (Q. E. Castañeda, 2008). Thus, from their work it would seem that cultural parks are mere planning instruments that attain some objectives following a linear causality thanks to the use of technology. Also, the theory behind their respective views is firmly anchored in the dichotomies of modernity, subject-object, nature-culture, tangible-intangible, and so on. This position could be summarized in the already mentioned affirmation that cultural landscapes are “the expression of the identity and memory of a community”. Thus, the image of cultural parks is simplified and its hybrid nature obliterated by “the purification of the elements” through classification and systematization (Latour & Woolgar, 1986).

7.1 Assembling Cultural Parks On the basis of the ideas exposed above I intend to set out a novel theoretical conceptualization of cultural parks. These are the initial hypotheses:


See Scheme 2.

A New Concept of Cultural Parks


1. Like landscapes and cultural landscapes, cultural parks are hybrid entities or messy objects (Law & Mol, 2002). Therefore, binary thinking is not functional for their study, whether as the signifier-signified couple, the real history-fake heritage dialectic or in the form of traditional modern dichotomies. 2. An epistemological turn is needed to understand cultural parks and to avoid the categories of modernity. However, it is necessary to acknowledge their ontological status as well. Actually, cultural parks produce subjectivities, change the relationship between humans and their environment, their identity and their past, creating new socio-economic territorial contexts or “matters of concern” (sensu Latour, 2004). 3. Cultural parks are complex and many different elements converge in their constitution. Therefore, strictly disciplinary research cannot account for them either at a practical or ideological level (Nguyen & Davis, 2008). Thus, it is necessary to recognize the impossibility of purifying and isolating an element for its analysis in a cultural park. All its constituent parts are interrelated and in continuous reciprocal determination through different processes. 4. There is no need to place cultural Parks in a useless dichotomy between the local and the global. These are not the consequence of macro processes but neither local splinters of a world in fragments (Geertz, 2000). In cultural parks different issues and processes converge with branches on different scales. These premises pave the way for the conceptualization of cultural parks as “assemblages”. To elaborate this formulation I have drawn on previous works conducted in several disciplines, from anthropology (Rabinow, 2008) to political science (Srnicek, 2007). The concept of assemblage was originally conceived by Foucault and Deleuze (Deleuze, 1988; see Srnicek, 2007 for an in-depth account of "assemblages") from the work of Danish linguist Louis Hjemslev (see Bell, 2008; Pisters, 2003)2. The concept was intended to overcome the structuralist, phenomenological and Marxist interpretations of the social world. However, its use has spread due to the appropriation of the concept by the Actor-Network-Theory (see Callon & Caliskan, 2005; Latour, 2005b) and the recent Deleuzian-turn in anthropology (Hamilton & Placas, 2010). Actor-Network scholars consider assemblages as “loose descriptors of heterogeneous structures, consisting of human as well as non-human elements” (Palmås, 2007: 2). Hence, it is “like an episteme with technologies 2

See Scheme 3.


Chapter Seven

added ... connoting active and evolving practices rather than a passive and static structure” (Watson-Verran & Turnbull, 1995: 117). Non-linear and complex relations prevail among the components of the assemblage because “assemblages are formed and affected by heterogeneous populations of lower-level assemblages, but may also act back upon these components, imposing restraints or adaptations in them” (Zaera-Polo, 2008: 90). Thus, assemblages can be equated with boundary objects (Star & Griesemer, 1989) or global forms. These are a “set of templates that organize, in specific situations, values, norms, morals, modes of self formation and ethical reasoning” (Collier & Ong, 2005: 11) articulated in local situations by specific administrative apparatuses, technical infrastructures or value regimes (Frohmann, 2008). Moreover, assemblages do not only account for discourses but also for material realities (Lazzarato, 2002), enabling to make sense of the emergence of new socio-economic configurations. Foucault’s analysis of the disciplinary system provides a good example: at the non-discursive, material level (content of the assemblage) there is a prison (form) and prisoners (substance). The “substance of content” is the human and physical resources arranged in the assemblage, whereas the form of content is the material way of sorting and compartmentalising these resources (Bell, 2008: 9). At the discursive level (expression of the assemblage), “the form is “penal law” and the substance is “delinquency”” in so far as it is the object of statements” (Deleuze, 1988: 47)3. When assemblages are stabilized they are called “structures” that are more or less stable, like the disciplinary system (see Manuel DeLanda, 2009 for an explanation of assemblages in social contexts). Starting from this formulation, a tentative model of cultural park can be set out4. The abstract representation of the assemblage has the advantage of not differentiating from the outset between nature-culture, object-subject or tangible-intangible. This fact enables the researcher to analyze in empirical contexts how these dichotomies are established and negotiated during the process of implementation. Furthermore, the formulation of cultural parks as assemblages does not allow the investigator to establish a direct linear relationship between discourses on heritage, sustainability, memory and identity (substance of expression) and the material territory (substance of content). There should always be some sort of intervention distributing value and meaning and arranging the material reality in accordance with a logic. In some cases, this rationale will be determined by research and a 3 4

See Scheme 4 & 5. See Scheme 6.

A New Concept of Cultural Parks


story to be told. In others, the architectural design and planning will have a greater weight. Thus, this model prevents an essentialist conception of heritage that defines it by its intrinsic functions. Within the assemblage, the role of heritage is always negotiated and variable because relations are always external to the internal constitution of the elements (Zourabichvili, Sauvagnargues, & Marrati, 2004). Therefore, it is necessary to analyze how heritage is functioning assembled within structures (Dolphijn, 2004). Also, cultural parks are not the expression of the identity and memory of a place, but a way of arranging, assembling these elements along with many others into a co-functioning system with a purpose. Thus, both expression and content are reciprocally conditioned avoiding any causal or linear relationship (Lazzarato, 2004). This move prevents falling into determinism: a cultural park is not exclusively the result of the socioeconomic content as in Marxism, nor the outcome of the discursive expression as in structuralism. Furthermore, the assemblage reflects the complexity of the cultural park showing the futility of conceiving it as an outcome of a transcendental, top-down ordering of reality, whether as a planning guideline or the will of an institution. Conversely, the cultural park is considered as an emergent element that adapts locally through ongoing processes of negotiation and reciprocal determination. Then, as can be appreciated in the graph, there are four main subdivisions traversed by two axes. The pre-existing material (content substance) includes items such as institutions, material remains from the past or the local people. These components are the subject of academic study regarding of the creation of inventories to facilitate architectural design or the development of a story. The planning efforts and the story sort out these material elements of the past and some specific contemporary practices turning them into heritage to be enhanced, valued, and presented to a public. These elements are affected and in turn determine the physical structure of the cultural park and the management of space and heritage (content form), that is, the material way of compartmenting and sorting resources. The spatial planning blueprints are closely related to the local context and the image of the park (expression form), that is, with scientific research and the story that is narrated. This section is politically loaded, enabling to analyse cultural park’s performance considering the story as an “envelope”. Issues of identity politics, inclusion and exclusion can be addressed here, looking at processes whereby some heritage resources, memories and stories are highlighted whereas others fall in oblivion. Normally, when a cultural park narrates a story it becomes the hub of its


Chapter Seven

performance. This fact opens the door to an investigation of the park from the story told: Is it based on research? And if so, what kind of research, and who does it? Is it reflecting the local identity or is it an abstraction to attract tourism? How does the story affect the meanings and uses of heritage? Finally, the pre-existing discourses (expression substance) support and shape the idea of “heritage-as-value” in its various forms: as cultural landscape, as identity, etc. Also, this section includes discourses considering heritage assets as the basis for economic development, that is, heritage-as-development (World Bank, 2001). At the same time, these discourses determine how actors should act, fixing ideas of how space, heritage and economic development should be managed. Therefore, this area is closely related to regulations and legislation developed by national and international institutions (UNESCO, ICOMOS, World Bank, national heritage laws and so on). Both “expression substance” and “expression form” would allow for an analysis of the ideological underpinnings of the cultural park in the sense of Zizek or Rancière (see J. Butler, Laclau, & Zizek, 2000; Goodwin & Taylor, 2009; Jackson & Jackson, 2009; Rancière, 2004; Swyngedouw, 2010). Once all these elements are conjoined and assembled, the cultural park becomes a structure, or rather a “cultural image of stability” (M DeLanda, 2002), because it does not lose its changing and dynamic status. At this point, it is not enough to affirm that the assemblages exist. It is necessary to analyze how they touch ground in real contexts, how they take on institutional grip and human valence. To do so, it is necessary to use the “tools of anthropology, philosophy, metaphysics, history, sociology to detect how many participants are gathered in a thing to make it exist and to maintain its existence” (Latour, 2005b: 256). The analysis of real assemblages is the only way of accounting for the diagram lying behind cultural parks (Palmås, 2007). The diagram is different from a rational blueprint or a project; it is not a top-down plan that grounds the whole cultural park. It could be defined as a structuregenerating process or the functions or principles (Hardie & MacKenzie, 2007) underpinning the workings of the assemblage. In plain, what is at stake when seeking to map the diagram of a social structure is to understand how the same concept “cultural park” can produce different territorial configurations and how heritage can be articulated in many ways. That is, “how do the assemblages come about in a variable way in each particular case? … Foucault gives it its most precise name: it is a “diagram”, a “functioning”, abstracted from any obstacle” (Deleuze, 1988: 34). The diagram facilitates the task of tracing the key elements of cultural

A New Concept of Cultural Parks


parks according to “degrees”, instead of relying on closed categories: to which extent is heritage being commodified? To what degree is the story fostering a fixed and exclusionary idea of identity5? The hypothetical representation of a diagram presents the main variables that play a role in the constitution of a cultural park The diagram does not reintroduce a dichotomous thinking since it does not classify or judge some elements according to pre-existing criteria. Instead, it evaluates the intensity with which each element operates, sorting it in a gradient where certain attractors are at work, in complexity theory parlance (Ansell-Pearson, 1997). Thus, it is possible to explore what kind of transformation a cultural park causes in the relation between a society and its landscape and heritage. To analyze the behaviour of a cultural park and map the underlying diagram at work, it is necessary to conduct fieldwork research.

7.2 An Ethnographic Methodology for the Analysis of Cultural Parks In connection with the study carried out and the foregoing reflections, this section provides some ideas for a suitable methodology for the investigation of cultural parks. First, the methodologies developed by the research teams of the UPC and MIT should not be completely dismissed. The analysis of physical planning and knowledge about the history of the park and the role of the institutions in its development is relevant. Indeed, these perspectives help to overcome the difficulties of anthropological studies in linking macro contexts with ethnographic narrative (Hamilakis & Anagnostopoulos, 2009). However, Sabaté and Frenchman already pointed out that “we have a long way to go to fully understand the implications of these examples. Thus, there is an important role for practice-based inquiry into this field” (2001: 35). Therefore, a study that seeks to problematise the performance of cultural parks should be based on ethnographic research of one or several case studies. This approach would enable researchers to deepen several controversial issues and to draw comparisons between different cultural parks. In addition to the methodological contributions in the field of heritage studies (see Sørensen, 2009), the ethnography of archaeology provides a valuable research framework. In particular, Castañeda’s notion of transculturation (2008) can prove useful for the analysis of the social life of cultural parks (sensu Appadurai, 1986). He extends the use of the term 5

See Scheme 7.


Chapter Seven

to comprise not only the borrowing of meanings across ethnic groups but also “between socio-cultural communities and diverse kinds of institutions, sets of practices, bodies of knowledge and social agents” (Quetzil E. Castañeda, 2009: 263). Also, Lynn Meskell’s investigation at Kruger National Park (2005; 2009) provides an outstanding methodological framework that meshes archaeology and anthropology following the call to decolonize methodologies (see Smith, 2008)”. In her account she analyzes issues of inclusion, the nature-culture divide, cultural display, tourism and representation in the Park. However, Kruger (1926) is the stereotype of a traditional “natural reserve” National Park. Therefore, her methodology should be adapted to the particularities of cultural parks. The methodology must take into account that messy objects as cultural parks need a holistic, long-term ethnographic approach because these can mean different things for each actor. Also, the methodology should combine an etic (broad or common) and emic (culture specific) approach (Morris, Leung, Ames, & Lickel, 1999), working at two levels. The first would comprise structured interviews in order to establish similar patterns of analysis to facilitate inter-contextual comparison. At the second level, free and semi-structured interviews should be carried out (see King & Horrocks, 2009) enabling to follow the actors instead of merely collecting data to fit a hypothesis (Sørensen, 2009).


Most authors who have written on the subject agree that the most innovative feature of cultural parks is that they place landscape at the heart of planning efforts. More specifically, they rely on the idea of cultural landscape which itself incorporates a broad notion of heritage or territorial heritage. Supposedly, in this way cultural parks move beyond the dichotomies between nature-culture, intangible-tangible, etc., so clearly embodied by the traditional national parks or nature reserves. In theory, the prevailing role of landscape should prevent the process of economic development and touristification that every cultural park entails from breaking with the local communities” activity and cultural forms of selfrepresentation. The investigation has attempted to show that the picture is more complex. The purpose of the review of the notions of landscape and cultural landscape was to show how their roots lie in modern epistemology and how their development was parallel to that of the scientific paradigm. Although the “landscape” can overcome certain dichotomies such as nature-culture, it reintroduces others because it implicitly carries the notions of material territorial reality and at the same time the visual representation of that reality. Therefore, it is necessary to re-establish their unity and close the gap opened up at the heart of landscapes by the modern Humboldtian appraisal of them. Also, it is usual to articulate the landscape in cultural parks following the problematic linguistic duality of signifier-signified: the landscape as an expression of memory and identity. In fact, the conception of landscape has historically oscillated between objectivism and subjectivism depending on the epistemological trend or social agent that interpreted and put it to work. On one side, the subjectivist paradigm has evolved from the connotative interpretations of romanticism to the phenomenological and social constructivist positions (see Wylie, 2007). On the other, objectivist trends starting from the denotative interpretations of Enlightenment endured in positivist approaches and in technical disciplines. This latter utilitarian perspective has been assumed by institutions and States since


Chapter Eight

the eighteenth century. It was also embraced by the hard sciences, which needed to maintain an autonomous idea of nature to avoid a universal social constructivism that would threaten the isolation of their object of study (Gérard Chouquer, 2007). For its part, UNESCO (Mechtild Rössler, 2006) added cultural landscapes to its categories, endorsing definitely the hybridization between heritage and landscape according to Western standards. The questionable objectivist standpoint of UNESCO does not go into contentious areas such as management or ownership, opening the door to the management of cultural landscapes in different ways and with clear economic purposes. Cultural parks represent one of these forms of management. They provide a cultural landscape with a structure and organisation, linking a material state of affairs (e.g. a beautiful vineyard valley) with a discourse (e.g. UNESCO’s discourse on organically evolved landscapes as valuable) and extracting an economic rent from it. All the aforementioned contradictions and epistemic inheritances from modernity are reflected in the crucial question that every cultural park has huge problems to deal with, that is, how to translate “landscape identity” into spatial and heritage planning. The fact that local groups and various stakeholders can participate in the process of implementation and management of the cultural park facilitates this task. However, it is difficult to assess to what extent is local people involved and which specific groups are the most active in the process. Nonetheless, this possibility is not really an original contribution of cultural parks but stems from a number of issues. On one hand, transformations in the economy and forms of governmentality have left a prospect of weak States that gives way to the intervention of different agents with more weight in the territory. On the other hand, changes in scientific paradigms and subsequently in the conceptualisation of heritage, museums, parks and protected areas are determining. Thus, open-air museums, networked museums and ecomuseums condition the development of cultural parks. Similarly, managers of national and nature parks are gradually abandoning the idea of the park as an isolated wildlife sanctuary with clear limits, therefore trying to connect it with local communities and society at large. Under these premises, cultural parks began to emerge during the 1990s conforming to different criteria in Europe and the U.S. Also, their forms and structures are highly heterogeneous due to the wide variety of local articulations and the participation of different social agents in their implementation. This reality renders cultural parks highly political entities. Externally, they require funding, political negotiation, bureaucratic management and institutional support. Internally, their performance is tied



to the politics of identity because they link heritage with representations of identity and memory that may play a role in issues of social inclusion and exclusion. The situation becomes more intricate if the park narrates a story as in the American National Heritage Areas. The research has tried to show how the technical approaches and their theoretical foundations used so far to account for the complexity of cultural parks do not suffice to understand them. It is not that these are wrong, but they only provide a partial view of cultural parks. Something that would also happen if the researcher places himself on the other side and conceives cultural parks as social constructions (see Carman, 1995 on heritage as social construction). Therefore, to build the theoretical image of cultural parks I have tried to follow Latour (1993) and adopt a symmetric stance whereby a cultural park becomes a technical and a social entity, a set of objects, negotiations and exchanges. A purely technical perspective like the ones deployed by Sabaté, Frenchman or Bustamante overlook that every technical project involves a series of parallel social processes that render it possible and keep it alive. Thus, the technical procedures are in constant dialogue and engagement not only with the material realities they deal with and shape, but with different social actors. Therefore, it is trivial to give a technical explanation of the performance of cultural parks to which some external social and political components are added later. Equally, it is useless to focus on social issues and the “social construction” of cultural parks without considering the technical aspects. Hence, it should be assumed that the material and technical framework is socially negotiated. Then, to keep the symmetry it should be recognized that the own cultural park can also enrol and incorporate different social actors in its development. Consequently, the cultural park has agency and ontological potential to create new territorial truths that decentre previous equilibriums (Law, 2004). They can create delimited frameworks with new sets of rules (Serres, 1982) where it is easier to individuate particular issues to deal with (Latour, 2005a). From this perspective, it becomes unproductive to try to purify cultural parks seeking to identify and individuate their functions. For instance, the researcher should not aim to unravel and neatly separate what is culture and what is economy within cultural parks in order to judge and criticise their performance if they tend to focus on economic objectives that entail the commodification of heritage. This would imply the introduction of preconceived notions and contexts from outside the assemblage determining what it means and what is to be done with heritage, culture, nature, economy, etc. Instead, the researcher’s work should be to follow


Chapter Eight

those agents involved in the creation of the cultural park and to investigate how other actors are involved in different ways, joining or disengaging from the project. Only in this manner is it possible to understand how social actors create different categories, attach meanings, decide what are landscape and heritage, culture and nature, and what to do with them. From this stance, the investigation would probably reveal that local conceptualizations diverge from the researcher’s own preconceptions, a situation that leads to an encounter that generates knowledge. Also, the idea of what is and what to do with heritage varies in accordance to the different evaluations and classifications. The inventories elaborated in cultural parks define what heritage consists of. A further selection organises them in a hierarchy based on their value and utility in relation to the story or the goals pursued. This categorization can be challenged and can either match or not the representations of local communities, the criteria of heritage experts and tourists. Thus, the axis of the debate must be rethought in different terms. The question is not whether or not heritage represents the memory and identity of a community, but why is there a need to bring them together, for what purposes, how is it negotiated and among which actors, how would the material reality of the place be affected, and so on. In short, how heritage is assembled into a larger framework where it has also agency, the capacity to engage stakeholders around it. Finally, for a cultural park to be constituted and stay active it must be located at the “intersection” where the wills of different social actors converge. At present, the “active principle” of cultural parks lies in the intersection of a growing number of heterogeneous social groups and institutions across the U.S. and Europe. It is at this intersection where the researcher should situate her/himself, half way between technical objects and social interests, in order to account for the exchanges and relations between them. The concept of assemblage enables us to assume an intermediate position, without prioritising any of the two fields. In hindsight, this investigation has allowed me to focus, formulate and conceive cultural parks as a concrete research problem now open for future research and academic scrutiny. In this regard, almost everything remains still to be done.


x Tim Ingold (1993): “Landscape, in short, is not a totality that you or anyone else can look at, it is rather the world in which we stand in taking up a point of view on our surroundings. And it is within the context of this attentive involvement in the landscape that the human imagination gets to work in fashioning ideas about it”. x Evans, M.J., Roberts, A, Nelson, P. (2001): “Landscapes are “symbolic environments” that people create to give meaning and definition to their physical environment”. x Sánchez Palencia & Pérez García (1996): “Landscape is a cultural creation, not only for the society that constructed it but also to contemporary society that approaches it”. x Marc Antrop (2006): “Landscape encompasses more than an area of land with a certain use or function. I consider landscape as a synthetic and integrating concept that refers both to a material-physical reality, originating form a continuous dynamic interaction between natural processes and human activity and to the immaterial existential values and symbols of which the landscape is the signifier”. x Wikipedia (access January 20, 2011): “Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms, water bodies such as rivers, lakes and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including land uses, buildings and structures, and transitory elements such as lighting and weather conditions”. x Milton Santos (1997): - “Landscape is the realm of the visible. It is not only constituted by volumes, but also by colours, movements, smells, sound, etc. Landscape is the collection of objects that our body grasps and identifies”. - “Landscape comprises the reality that can be visually perceived from a point of observation. It is constituted by natural and human elements, presents a dynamic character and is the product of human work and history”.


Appendix A

x Joan Nogue (2007): “Landscape is a physical reality and the cultural representation we make of it. It comprises the geographic physiognomy of a territory along with all the human and natural elements present on it. Also, landscape comprises all the sentiments and emotions arisen when it is contemplated. In conclusion, landscape is socially constructed, as the cultural projection of a society in a limited space determined from a material, spiritual and symbolic dimension”. x Roberto Barocchi (1982) “Landscape is the form of the environment”. x Vázquez Varela & Martínez Navarro (2008): “Landscape is the phenomenological expression of social and natural processes in a given time, directly related to the spatial planning of productive as well as cultural activities, according to the varying social options that apply”. .


x María Ángeles Layuno (2007): “Against natural landscapes, cultural landscapes, imply a human contribution, that is, the modification or transformation of landscape by human action over time”. x Almudena Orejas (2001): “Cultural landscape is a kind of cultural asset whose value lies in the combination of the natural and the cultural realms, that is, the interaction between people and their surrounding environment”. x Charles Birnbaum and National Park Service (1994): “a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values”. x Ballesteros Arias, Otero Vilariño and Varela Pousa (2004): “Cultural landscape is a part of the territory containing different natural, historic, monumental and archaeological elements. It comes into being only when it is appreciated by the observer. The gaze builds the landscape. Without an observer and a code landscape is only a space”. x Peter Fowler (2003): “Memorial to the unknown worker”. x Carl Sauer (1925): “The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a culture group. Culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape the result”. x Joaquín Sabaté (2006): “Cultural landscape is a geographic ground associated to an event, an activity or a historical character, containing aesthetic and cultural values”. x Ministry of Culture, Government of Spain (n.d.): “Cultural landscape is the result of human activity in a particular territory, whose component parts are: 1. Natural substratum (orography, soils, vegetation, hydrography...). 2. Human action: modification and/or alteration of natural elements and constructions with a determinate scope. 3. Kind of activity performed in the area (a functional component in relation with economy, beliefs, culture, ways of life...)”.


Appendix B

x Ramón Buxó (2006): “Cultural landscapes are multidimensional constructions resulting from the interaction between certain historical structures and contingent processes”. x California State Park scheme (n.d.): “Cultural landscapes portray how humans have used and adapted natural resources over time, whether through agricultural, mining, ranching and settlement activities, or traditional Native American cultural practices”. x Fernández Mier and Díaz López (2006): “Cultural Heritage currently incorporates the territory, because territory is the natural and humanized landscape, a product of the human alteration of the environment in order to obtain the necessary resources to enable its survival and to progress in the organization and economic sustain of the society. This is what we mean by cultural landscape”. x Michael O’Flaherty (n.d.): “Since all people have a (cultural) relationship to land and its other inhabitants, the term “cultural landscape” is redundant. Our goal should not be to defend the simple fact that landscapes are cultural but to find ways to describe the myriad of relations and their interaction with one another”. x Jaume Domenech (2005): “Cultural landscapes are the outcome of a continuous and gradual sedimentation of historic socio-economic processes, reflecting the growth of a society in a territory. We should not discuss about landscape, art or heritage without taking into account the protagonism of man in the territory. Man is the actor and agent of the transformations that leave traces in the landscape”.


x Aragón Cultural Park Act (1997): “A territory containing relevant cultural heritage elements that are integrated within a geographic environment of singular ecological and natural value, that will enjoy of promotion and protection as a whole, with specific measures for the protection of the aforementioned relevant heritage elements”. x Joaquín Sabaté (2009): “I understand Heritage Park as an tool to project and manage, to recognize and enhance an specific Cultural Landscape, whose aim is not only to preserve heritage or to promote education, but also to favor local economic development”. x Joaquín Sabaté (2004b): “A Cultural Park implies the necessity to ensure the preservation of heritage assets and to enhance and value them in order to foster economic development within a particular Cultural Landscape”. x Leonel Pérez Bustamante and Claudia Parra Ponce (2004): - “Heritage Park is an initiative or project that privileges the production of an image that grants an identity to a territory, where heritage along with other natural and cultural resources are combined, presented, and promoted intentionally in order to form a patterned landscape that tells the story of such territory and its dwellers”. - “Heritage Park is a concept with the implicit notion of “project”. As such, it entails the composition of an image contributing to the enhancement of territorial identity providing the territory with some elements that facilitate economic development”. x Pascual Rubio Terrado (2008): “The Cultural Park constitutes an evolution of the traditional enclosed museum, or “museum-institution”, of historic and anthropological character, that extends throughout a whole territory. It can be likened to a field with specific common characteristics in the majority of the cultural manifestations present on it. Therefore, the essence of a Cultural Park is the territory that represents the complex


Appendix C

workings of a determinate culture through a varied array of forms and elements. Each Cultural Park is configured according to all the cultural manifestations present in the territory, whether material (archaeological sites, monuments, landscapes, etc.) or intangible (beliefs, habits, folklore, etc.). Local participation is essential for the enhancement and protection of heritage and for the consolidation of the Park”. x Jane Daly (2003): “While the language can be confusing, the basic principle is not. Heritage areas are dynamic regional initiatives that build connections between people, their place and their history. These connections are strengthened by capturing and telling the stories of the people and their place. These stories, when linked together, reflect a regional identity and support a collective awareness of the need to protect and enhance what makes our places unique. They give rise to opportunities for economic development that promote and preserve the region’s assets”. x Peyton Knight (2006b): “But what is a National Heritage Area? In short, it is a pork barrel earmark that harms property rights and local governance. Let me explain why that is. Heritage Areas have boundaries. They are very definite boundaries, and they have very definite consequences for folks who reside within them. What happens when a Heritage Area bill passes is that a management entity is tasked with drawing boundaries around a particular region and then coming up with a management plan for the area”. x Rosemary Prola (2005): “The heritage area movement in the United States represents a strategy for protecting heritage that transcends the traditional focus of historic preservation of structures and sites to encompass the conservation of their historic, cultural, and natural contexts. Heritage areas are founded on the concept that the best way to preserve historic and cultural landscapes is through partnerships and community participation. With its concern for creating sustainable local economies as a means of resource protection, the heritage area movement incorporates current historic preservation practice, which is increasingly concerned with revitalizing “main streets”, bringing back urban neighbourhoods, and protecting farmland, with landscape-scale conservation, interpretation and tourism”. x Paul M. Bray (1988): “Heritage areas are multi-resource urban and regional settings with a coherence or distinctive sense of place based on factors like rivers, lakes, transportation systems (canal and historic railroad lines) and cultural heritage. They have been called partnership parks because of the diversity of stakeholders (including private land owners, NGOs and multiple units of governments and functional governmental agencies) involved in the planning and management for the area’s

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


intersecting goals of preservation, recreation, education and sustainable economic development like cultural and eco-tourism. Successful heritage areas keep current residents in the forefront in terms of ownership, control and celebration”. x San Francisco Planning Department (n.d.): “Heritage Areas feature historic and cultural resources that are integral with their geography. The combined landscape and development of a Heritage Area tells a story”. x National Park Service (n.d.): “A national heritage area is a place designated by the United States Congress where natural, cultural, historic, and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These areas tell nationally important stories about our nation and are representative of the national experience through both the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved with them”. x Brenda Barrett and Suzanne Copping (2004): “Heritage areas and heritage corridors are large-scale living landscapes where community leaders and residents have come together around a common vision of their shared heritage”. x Rafael Martínez Valle (2000): “What is a cultural park? It is an approach to landscape that focuses on the relations between human beings and their environment. The cultural park as a museum can be equated with what Querol defined as an archaeological park. However, in cultural parks the archaeological heritage is only one element among others”. x Burillo, F., Ibañez, E.J., and Polo. C. (1994): “Cultural landscapes represent a total archaeology: they a single thematic unit that is distributed throughout a territory. Then, the philosophy is to foster rural development on the basis of research and heritage”. x Ewa Bergdahl (2005): “A cultural park contributes to the economic development of a region, a unusual objective for a traditional museum. Thus, cultural parks are projected towards the future”. x Heritage Act of the Comunidad Valenciana (1998): “A space containing significant cultural heritage elements integrated within a environment with relevant landscape and ecological values”. x Matilde González Méndez (1997): “In contrast to archaeological parks, cultural parks strive for the protection and promotion of larger areas with more of a cultural presence than that found in archaeological remains and their surroundings. They therefore promote the control of the archaeological historical and natural resources in large areas. A cultural park is more than a single site within a group of natural and historical resources in an area which may be opened for public use”.


Appendix C

x Almudena Orejas (2001): “A cultural park is an open and dynamic support to address the cultural, social and economic enhancement of cultural landscape. It is an instrument that coordinates and integrates the interests of researchers, heritage administrations and diverse publics, working as an useful framework for the protection and management of heritage”. x Battaglini G., Orejas, A. Clavel-Lévêque, M. (2002): “A cultural park must be able to bring together many different elements while at the same time constituting itself as a dynamic reality. The park must also integrate the present to propose potential ways of change in relation with the past elements. Also, the park must become a living landscape able to conduct visitors from the present territories to the ancient ones … parks are structured on a geo-historical space and around a specific theme from a central reference: an archaeological area, a site, or a regional complex”.


This appendix presents and briefly analyses the constitution and evolution of the Val di Cornia cultural park. This case study cannot be considered as a “test proof” of the methodology developed in the investigation because no fieldwork has been carried out. Instead, my aim is to illustrate how a cultural park is created in practice, thus complementing the more theoretical perspective assumed in the study. I have chosen the Val di Cornia because I know well the area (I spent six months there working as an archaeologist) and because I consider the book Una impresa per sei parchi (Casini & Zucconi, 2003) the best work carried out to date focusing on a single cultural park. In fact, the book reflects the conception of the park as it brings together contributions from the wide array of professionals involved in its development (Magnaghi, 2005a). Also, the authors insist in considering the park as an ongoing process that needs to be constantly updated and rethought.

1. The Val di Cornia Region and the Park The Val di Cornia is a coastal area located in the south of the Italian Tuscany, comprising five city councils with a chief urban centre called Piombino. The area has been known since medieval times for its intensive dedication to the steel and, more recently, the iron industries. Most people in the area worked in the industry sector during the twentieth century. However, the 1980s brought about a worldwide crisis of the iron industry that affected directly the Val di Cornia. Consequently, unemployment and social unrest rocketed during that decade. For some politicians and professionals, the only way out of the economic downturn would be the focus on agricultural production and tourism (Casini & Zucconi, 2003: 6). Accordingly, since the late 1980s large areas of the region comprising archaeological remains, coastal areas, forests and mountains were subjected to a public regime of protection through expropriation or


Appendix D

voluntary transfer (Idem: 23). The outcome of this process was the creation of different parks owned directly by the city councils1. Since then on, many other areas and archaeological remains have fallen under public control. Obviously, the process was not devoid of controversy as many people thought that investments should be directed to the maintenance of the industrial and extractive sectors, whose activities were irreconcilable with the creation of the park due to the high environmental damage and degradation that they entailed (Circondario Val di Cornia, 2004; IRPET, 2002). Notwithstanding this contentious issue, the idea of the park gained popular support during the early 1990s. Instead of focusing solely on conservation policies and the creation of protected areas, the promoters of the park moved towards an active position aiming at the development and enhancement of certain environmentally and historically valuable sites (Luzzati & Sbrilli, 2009). Accordingly, the promoters sought a form of management that enabled them to holistically consider issues of heritage, infrastructures, residential and industrial spaces, tourism, services, landscape and archaeology. Finally the “Parks of Val di Cornia Partnership” was created in 1993 with the following objective: “To activate the Val di Cornia Parks framework through the creation of the necessary management facilities and services located in the affected areas, promoting the protection and development of social, economic and territorial cohesion”2 (Casini & Zucconi 2003: 5). The Val di Cornia became one more of the 25 areas considered as “Cultural Parks” by the Toscana region, subsequently receiving funding from it and later on from the E.U. as well (Regione Toscana, 1995). Then, without going into detail, it is easy to identify in Val di Cornia the main issues at work in most cultural parks: - The project starts as a consequence of the transition from industrialproductive economies to post-productive economies based on the service sector. - The project is based on the assumption of an extended idea of “heritage and territorial value” that underpins the whole process.


Namely, the Archaeological Park of Populonia and the Coastal Park of Sterpaia in Piombino, the Coastal Park of Rimigliano in San Vincenzo, the Mining Archaeological Park of Sal Silvestro in Campiglia Marittima, the Natural Park of Montioni in Suvereto and the Forestal Park of Poggio Neri in Sassetta. 2 Translated from Italian by the author.

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


- The project entails a shift from the preservationist stance focusing on the creation of natural parks to the active and entrepreneurial management of heritage as a resource. - Economy is considered at two levels. The first focuses on direct profits from museums, parks or touristic expenditure mainly. But the second level takes into account the added value of the “identity of the region” that only heritage can provide (see Casini & Zucconi, 2003: 165).3

2. Structures and Functioning of the Park The governing body of the parks of Val di Cornia is a complex structure that brings together many professionals from different fields of expertise such as economy, management, archaeology, biology, curatorial studies, sociology or engineering. Also, many features of the park are original in the European context and entail a rethinking of concepts of heritage, territory and management, in some cases with clear political connotations.

2.1 The partnership and the relation with other institutions The Val di Cornia is the first entrepreneurial partnership created by city councils with the participation of private companies in Italy (idem: 7). In Italy and many other European countries the parks are established through complex bureaucratic procedures involving national and regional institutions that subtract powers to local governments. Instead, in Val de Cornia the parks are the direct emanation of the city councils: their delimitation, roles, interventions, management and planning are carried out by the partnership (Paterlini & Gould, 2013). Therefore, Val di Cornia has clearly chosen a framework whereby the local government becomes an autonomous entity that not only grants some public services but decides how to plan its own future in a complex manner, establishing an equal relation with different other bodies such as the regional, national or European institutions, the universities and the specific public Boards of Archaeological and Cultural Heritage. Clearly, this stands in opposition with the Italian Constitution that endows the State with competences on cultural goods and the Regions with competences on tourism4. Moreover, in the late 1990s the development of the park transcended to the political 3

See Scheme 26 However, there are modern attempts to move towards a greater decentralisation of the Italian State that would grant more competences to the regions.



Appendix D

level with the creation of a political institution called “circondario” (district) that brings together the five city councils and does not fit with the traditional administrative framework of the Italian State. The situation created in the region thanks to the development of the park is not only due to a political stance, but is related to pragmatic concerns. As the authors state, the regional and national governments lack the necessary rapidity to respond to the necessities of a decaying economy such as the one of Val di Cornia. If they had not taken action fast, they would “still be waiting for public funding and the completion of bureaucratic procedures” (Casini & Zucconi 2003: 7). Consequently, discussions revolving around issues of ownership of cultural and natural heritage become secondary. What is at stake is to understand how to manage these resources successfully in order to generate profits, employment and provide high quality services for the population. Accordingly, the partnership of the park manages archaeological sites owned by the State, historic buildings property of the Province and forests of the Region, thus avoiding sectoral policies and overlapping competences. Instead, the guiding motto has been “integration” (Idem 2003: 8). First, the integration of both natural and cultural goods. The park distinguishes clearly both at the discursive and the practical level of management between nature and culture: some areas are natural and other areas are cultural or archaeological (Idem: 119-122). Secondly, traditional cultural services such as natural preservation, museums or restoration are integrated with the ownership of hotels, restaurants and commercial services at large, thus enabling the park to be economically sustainable. The promoters consider the partnership model as a solution for the problems that managing territorial networks of cultural heritage entails (Idem 2003: 38) Therefore, the promoters of the park reject the traditional vision of heritage as a pristine element owned and preserved by the State. Heritage is for them a resource or cultural asset that underlies the whole enhancement process in a wide conceptualization: for instance, the promoters take into account that contemporary industrial factories can become valuable assets in the future in the form of industrial heritage. They do not discuss ownership but management, what is at stake for them is to provide new opportunities for local people and to generate a new territorial identity. In parallel, they consider that the neo-liberal model whereby public institutions are in charge of the expenditures derived from taking care of cultural heritage whereas the private sector collects profits is outdated. For them, the only possibility of achieving a real sustainability lies in a fair

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


share of expenditure and profit between the private and public sectors. Moreover, the public sector should work following entrepreneurial models of flexibility and mobility. This model facilitates the partial self-funding of the partnership and the redistribution of benefits towards university-led research. Indeed, the establishment of the park has significantly increased the investments on culture-related activities and research in an area without a tradition of heritage or nature enhancement due to the historical focus on industry.

2.2 The role of archaeology and research In the case of the Val di Cornia it could be said that archaeology was one of the main catalysts for the development of the cultural park, a fact that cannot be separated from the figure of the medieval archaeologist Riccardo Francovich. For him, archaeology is conceived as a tool that could and should be linked to social action (R. Francovich, 1997; R. Francovich & Valenti, 2007). Accordingly, the archaeological charts of the south of Toscana ceased to be mere inventories of sites and took the form of landscape archaeology to deal with issues of spatial change and planning that could be linked with current forms of spatial and heritage planning (R. Francovich, Pellicano, & Pasquinucci, 2001). Something that promoters in Val di Cornia bear in mind themselves, as they believe that archaeologists need to expand the scope of their research if they are to discuss face to face with politicians and planners (Casini & Zucconi, 2003: 80): “it is therefore asked to archaeologists to work according to their own methods, but at the same time to adequate their own work to the exigencies of landscape architecture and spatial planning … The University admits, then, that to affirm the independency of scientific research does not entail setting aside the socio-economic problems of the area where research is carried out” (Casini & Zucconi 2003: 81). Thus, for Francovich incisive archaeological research should not only involve those who work in it, but also the territorial policies widely. There cannot be a policy for the protection of archaeological and heritage goods without taking into account issues of urbanism and planning (Riccardo Francovich, 2003). Then, all research conducted in Southern Toscana was included within an overall strategic plan, integrated through the pioneering use of GIS software at the service of public institutions (R. Francovich, 2002; R. Francovich & Valenti, 1999). In fact, the Val di Cornia Park builds on the previous archaeological work carried out in the area. The origins of many of the cultural parks of the partnership lie in the diggings conducted by Francovich in the area,


Appendix D

which culminated in the development of the archaeological park of Rocca San Silvestro (R. Francovich & Jamie, 1995). In this case, archaeology is in charge of telling “different stories for the same network” in the park, providing an scientific narrative for the whole territory that serves as a basis for the enhancement process (Casini & Zucconi, 2003: 89). However, this fact does not entail the reinvention of an exclusionary identity for the region. Rather, it merely highlights some of the processes that leave traces in the landscape, some of which have endured until recent times as the iron industry, which is present in the area since medieval times (Riccardo Francovich, 2003). Similarly, the identity put forward by the park has overcome the regionalisms that had begun to emerge since the steel industry crisis claiming that the creation of a new province in the area of Val di Cornia was necessary and the localisms that fostered competition between the different cities in the area (Casini & Zucconi, 2003: 47). At the same time, the economic success of the initiative has ensured the continuity of archaeological works, heritage enhancement and research. Subsequently, archaeology has really become public and has installed itself in the daily life of the place: in education, world view, imagination, the relationship with the environment and so on. Therefore, archaeology does not only play a role in providing a narrative of identity to the area but also participates in processes of decision and management of the park and the territory.

3. Assembling Val di Cornia In this final section I apply the concept of “assemblage” to the park of Val di Cornia. As previously mentioned, the scope of this analysis is limited and its aim is to illustrate briefly some of the concepts and topics exposed above. It is necessary to understand that the park is an ongoing process that will never be finished, as it is constantly improving and posing new objectives for the future. The assemblage traces the main elements that play a role in the development of the park and analyses them symmetrically without getting rid of their complexity. Content Substance comprises all the elements that are brought together and re-arranged by the park structure through expropriation or voluntary transfer, ranging from natural and coastal areas, hotels, restaurants, residential and productive areas, roads, archaeological remains, re-utilised buildings and the dwellers of the area, specially unemployed ex-workers of the iron industry. Content Form establishes how the elements are arranged into a new co-functioning system. In Val di Cornia this is the more politically

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


charged area of the assemblage instead of expression form, which refers to ideological and discursive issues. The park has challenged traditional forms of territorial and heritage management practices in Italy putting forward a novel view focusing on local autonomy and down to top planning strategies. Moreover, the promoters have set out a management structure whereby both public and private sector share loses and profits. The local promoters have organised the elements to fit entrepreneurial models of management that revert in the local economy thanks to the profit generated by tourism and investments. The plan of the whole region has drawn on an archaeological understanding of the territory that places landscape in the centre of its research agenda. However, architects and spatial planners have decided to divide the management of nature and culture into clear-cut administrative sections working with different frameworks and getting rid of the idea of “landscape”. However, they have integrated the whole set of elements into a large scheme whereby hotels, tourism and marketing are in close contact with researchers from different universities and the local population. Expression Form is related with the discursive and ideological elements present in the park. In Val di Cornia there is not an all encompassing narrative. Instead, the prevailing motto is “many stories into one network” (Casini & Zucconi, 2003: 81). The stories are based on scientific research carried out by archaeologists mainly and are restricted to the archaeological sites. The promoters put effort into changing the external perception of the area, traditionally regarded as an industrial region. The aim of the park is therefore to “look for a new identity for the area” (idem: 41) and to shift towards a model of leisure-tourism that enables to relate the park with nature preservation and cultural activity. Then, it can be said that the denomination works as an umbrella under which all the resources are assembled and managed as a system to fit into a new model based on a link between heritage and identity. Expression Content comprises the discourses assembled into the park that, in turn, are reinforced and put to work by it. The main discourses are related with the need to fight for the autonomy of local communities and the need to share profits and expenditures between the private and public sectors. But also there is a declared will to bring the public sector into entrepreneurial private management schemes. Therefore, discourses on efficiency, flexibility, results culture, mobility, economic diversification mingle with discourses on heritage and landscape preservation and enhancement. Consequently, the overall discourse of the park fits with the model of an integrated view of culture and leisure.


Appendix D

The view offered here is clearly partial as it has been already mentioned. However, it shows how cultural parks are complex enterprises that use heritage to produce a significant territorial shift towards postproductivist economic models based on the couple “culture and leisure”. Thus, in cultural parks heritage cannot be isolated from other elements: the role it plays depends on many other factors and, in fact, the concept pervades the whole assemblage. That is, everything “tends” to become heritagised, from the abstract identity, the coastal and forest areas, the archaeological sites, the agricultural products, the villages to the recently abandoned steel factories. Clearly, the park is not just the product of a “technical” arrangement of the territory. Despite these issues can only be accounted for through ethnographic fieldwork, there must be many social bounds and a high degree of cohesion between different actors to sustain such a complex project. This is not to say that the plan is devoid of controversy. However, it is not possible to assess the relation between the representation generated by the promoters and the perception of local people without carrying out fieldwork. Finally, analysing cultural parks can prove useful for researchers to understand how “heritage” cannot be isolated from the complex assemblages that give meanings and values to it and extract profit from it through different practices. In cultural parks, heritage is the product of a social construction as much as it is the outcome of a complex technical procedure.


The classifications of cultural parks have been developed according to different patterns. Actually, I agree with Bitonti (2008) that classifications are only useful when typologies can be linked with their potential social and political effects. However, only ethnographic research on cultural parks can offer this possibility. Thus, assuming that the typological approach provided is tentative, it can provide a useful outline that clarifies some of the issues exposed above.


Appendix E

Table 1. Main definitions established by the European Landscape Convention. Adapted from “European Landscape Convention” (Council of Europe, 2000).


Area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors

Landscape policy

An expression by the competent public authorities of general principles, strategies and guidelines that permit the taking of specific measures aimed at the protection, management and planning of landscapes

Landscape quality objective

The formulation by the competent public authorities of the aspirations of the public with regard to the landscape features of their surroundings

Landscape protection

Actions to conserve and maintain the significant or characteristic features of a landscape, justified by its heritage value derived from its natural configuration and/or from human activity

Landscape management

Landscape planning

Action, from a perspective of sustainable development, to ensure the regular upkeep of a landscape, so as to guide and harmonise changes which are brought about by social, economic and environmental processes

Strong forward-looking action to enhance, restore or create landscapes

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Table 2. The table shows the formulation put forward by Joaquín Sabaté and Dennis Fenchman of cultural landscapes as a socially constructed expression of a “real place”. This binary conceptualisation is problematic as it reinstates new dichotomies while trying to overcome the previous “modern” ones. Adapted from Sabaté (2004b).



Literary Culture

Legends and stories (Shared narrations)

History (Documented narration)

Material Culture

Place (Form + information)

Cultural Landscape (documented narration and form)

Table 3. Table with the categories of cultural landscapes defined by UNESCO. Adapted from Fowler (2003).

Landscape designed and created by man

Organically evolved landscape

This embraces garden and parkland landscapes constructed for aesthetic reasons.

This results from an initial social, economic, administrative, and/or religious imperative and has developed its present form by association with and in response to its natural environment. They fall into two sub-categories: - A relict (or fossil) landscape is one in which an evolutionary process came to an end at some time in the past, either abruptly or over a period. Its significant distinguishing features are, however, still visible in material form. - A continuing landscape is one which retains an active social role in contemporary society closely associated with the traditional way of life, and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress.

Appendix E


Associative cultural landscape

The inscription of such landscapes on the World Heritage List is justifiable by virtue of the powerful religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural element rather than material cultural evidence, which may be insignificant or even absent.

Table 4. Table with the categories of cultural landscapes defined by the National Park Service. Adapted from Birnbaum (1996).

Historic Designed Landscape

Historic Vernacular Landscape

Ethnographic Landscape

Historic Site

A landscape that was consciously designed or laid out by a landscape architect, master gardener, architect, or horticulturist according to design principles, or an amateur gardener working in a recognized style or tradition. A landscape that evolved through use by the people whose activities or occupancy shaped that landscape. Through social or cultural attitudes of an individual, family or a community, the landscape reflects the physical, biological, and cultural character of those everyday lives A landscape containing a variety of natural and cultural resources that associated people define as heritage resources A landscape significant for its association with a historic event, activity, or person. Examples include battlefields and president’s house properties.

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Table 5. The table compares N.P.S. and UNESCO frameworks on cultural landscapes. Adapted from Fowler (2003) and Birnbaum (1994).

Cultural Landscapes N.P.S.

Cultural Criteria

Cultural Landscapes UNESCO

Historic Designed Landscape

(i) A masterpiece of human creative genius.

Landscape designed and created intentionally by man

Historic Vernacular Landscape

Ethnographic Landscape

Ethnographic Landscape Historic Site

(ii) An important interchange of human value, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. (iii) A unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or civilization, living or disappeared. (iv) An outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which – a key, and much misunderstood phrase, this – illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history. (iv) An outstanding example of a traditional human settlement or land-use, representative of a culture (or cultures), especially when under threat. (v) Be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.

Organically evolved landscape: x A relict (or fossil) landscape x A continuing landscape

Associative cultural landscape

Appendix E

1980Regional initiatives with focus on industrial heritage

-Oil Region SHP -National Road SH. Corridor -Lincoln Highway SH Corridor -Endless Mountains SHP -California Citrus SHP -Skagit Valley -Agriculture Enterprise District Cumberland - Bergslagen EC/CP -Gettysburg N Military Park -Hudson River Valley NHA -Lackawana Heritage Valley NHA -Allegeny Ridge SHP -Rivers of Steel NHA -Schuylkill NHC

1972Industrial heritage and urban revitalisation projects

-Paterson National Industrial District -Lowell National Historical Park -Beamish Open Air Museums -Dunaskin Open Air Museums -Rhondda Heritage Park -French Regional Park system -EC, Le-CreusotMontceau-Les Mines -Ironbridge Gorge OA Museums -New Lanark WHS -Illinois & Michigan Canal NH Corridor -South western Pennsylvania NH Route -Delaware & Lehigh NHC

1985Heritage Canals and Rivers, territorial historical infrastructure -IBA Emscher Park -Duisburg Nord LP - Ripoll FP -IBA Fürst Pücler Land -IBA Routes Emscher Park -Navás-Berga FP - Ciaculli Palermo AP - Toscana CP scheme - Baix Llobregat AP - Grenoblois AP - Po FP - Alba-Ter FP - Camín de la Mesa CP - Val di Cornia CP

1990Focus on landscapes

-Ohio &Erie NHC -Quinebaug & Shetucket Valley NHC -Augusta Canal NHA -South Carolina NHA -National Coal NHA -Cane River NHA -Cache La Poudre River Corridor NHA -Essex NHA - Aragón CP scheme - Camín de la Mesa CP -Automobile NHA - Silos & Smokestacks NH Park - Colonies Llobregat CP -Shenandoah Valley Battlefields NH District -Tennessee Civil war NHA

1996Diversification of resources and themes, development of national/regional programs

Table 6. Development of Heritage Areas and Cultural Parks. NHA: National Heritage Area NHC: National Heritage Corridor NHD: National Heritage District SHP: State Heritage Park OAM: Open Air Museums EC: Ecomuseum FP: Fluvial Park, WHS: World Heritage Site, AP: Agricultural Park, LP, landscape Park, CP: Cultural Park. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.


Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Table 7. A classic model of protected areas. Adapted from Phillips (2002)


Local people

- “Set aside” for conservation, in the sense that the land (or water) is seen as taken out of productive use - Established mainly for scenic protection and spectacular wildlife, with a major emphasis on how things look rather than how natural systems function - Managed mainly for visitors and tourists, whose interests normally prevail over those of local people - Placing a high value on wilderness—that is, on areas believed to be free of human influence - About protection of existing natural and landscape assets— not about the restoration of lost values

- Planned and managed against the impact of people (except for visitors), and especially to exclude local people - Managed with little regard for the local community, who are rarely consulted on management intentions and might not even be informed of them


- Managed by natural scientists or natural resource experts - Expert-led

- Run by central government, or at least set up at instigation only of central government

Wider context - Developed separately—that is, planned one by one, in an ad hoc manner - Managed as “islands”—that is, managed without regard to surrounding areas Management skills

Finance - Paid for by the taxpayer

Appendix E


Table 8. The main elements of the novel paradigm for protected areas. Adapted from Phillips (2002).


Local people

- Run also with social and economic objectives as well as conservation and recreation ones. - Often set up for scientific, economic and cultural reasons— the rationale for establishing protected areas therefore becoming much more sophisticated. - Managed to help meet the needs of local people, who are increasingly seen as essential beneficiaries of protected area policy, economically and culturally. - Recognizes that so-called wilderness areas are often culturally important places. - About restoration and rehabilitation as well as protection, so that lost or eroded values can be recovered.

- Run with, for, and in some cases by local people— that is, local people are no longer seen as recipients of protected areas policy but as active partners, even initiators and leaders in some cases. - Managed to help meet the needs of local people, who are increasingly seen as essential beneficiaries of protected area policy, economically and culturally.

Governance - Run by many partners, thus different tiers of government, local communities, indigenous groups, the private sector, NGOs, and others are all engaged in protected areas management

Wider context - Planned as part of national, regional, and international systems, with protected areas developed as part of a family of sites. - The CBD makes the development of national protected area systems a requirement. - Developed as “networks”, that is, with strictly protected areas, which are buffered and linked by green corridors, and integrated into surrounding land that is managed sustainably by communities. Perceptions

Management technique - Managed adaptively in a longterm perspective, with management being a learning process.

- Viewed as a community asset, balancing the idea of a national heritage. - Management guided by international responsibilities and

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


- Selection, planning, and management viewed as viewed as essentially a political exercise, requiring sensitivity, consultations, and astute judgment.

duties as well as national and local concerns. Result: transboundary protected areas and international protected area systems.


Management skills

- Paid for through a variety of means to supplement—or replace— government subsidy.

- Managed by people with a range of skills, especially people-related skills - Valuing and drawing on the knowledge of local people.

Table 9. Summary of the main arguments put forward by different authors to explain or contextualize the appearance of cultural parks. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.

Changes in Heritage

x From territorialisation of heritage to heritagisation of territory. x Widening of the concept of heritage: spectacular growth in sites to be protected. x Change in the objectives of protection: from access to culture and enjoyment of cultural goods to a functional economic standpoint focusing on revenue. Heritage as a source for direct and indirect, tangible and intangible profit. x Increasing awareness among heritage professionals concerning the necessity of interdisciplinary, institutional and local collaboration: need for a comprehensive legislation comprising environment, territory, heritage, landscape and ecology.


Changes in Territory and Space

Appendix E

x Cultural landscapes as communicative places where stories and meanings can be attached to forms and spaces. x Cultural landscapes are viewed as non-renewable, increasingly scarce and valuable sources. x Against the widespread of non-places, the loss of meaning and globalization Cultural Parks become strongholds of identity. x Reaction against the consequences of the European Common Agricultural Policy and the shift from traditional to technological productivism: homogenisation of landscapes due to the uniform way of working the land, growth of parcel surface, disappearing of singular landscape symbols: walls, trees, hedges, paths, etc. Also, there is an increasing number of fenced enclosures in contrast with the traditional openfield landscape: land is seen in terms of productivity. x Increasing income gap between urban and rural areas. x Air, water and soil pollution, erosion and land abandonment entail an increase in forest fires, abandonment of vernacular architecture houses, etc. x Rural areas accumulate waste from wealthier urban areas, along with other environmentally and visually aggressive activities. x Spatial planning policies take into account endogenous resources in order to reinvent and render efficient withered territories: development is increasingly based on the singularity of territories and their social capital. x Shift in focus on territorial policies. Whereas the paradigm of the XX century stressed the importance of demographic and industrial development policies, in the XXI century the main couple is a mix of nature and culture.

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas



x Social and spatial fragmentation and exclusion: growth of enclosed Parks and spaces, excluded social groups, social obsession for security and lack of open and communicative spaces. x New alternatives in spare time activities and tourism as a reaction to massive tourism options. x Rapprochement of urban culture to the rural and “urbanization” of the rural through the media. Growing demand of rural values from urban population. x Social demands of culture run in parallel with the commodification of it: culture as entertainment, linked to the concept of “Park”. x Public policies prioritize preservation and presentation to the public over research. x Worry about the disappearing of “traditional” peasants as referents of vernacular ideas, know-how, myths and symbols that provide meaning to their associated landscapes. This fact is related to depopulation in rural areas and deindustrialisation. x Landscape as a source for environmental education and physical and psychological overall well being. x Social acknowledgement of the value of landscape as a valuable externality, whose quality and worth decreases within market conditions. There is a need for public intervention in order to achieve an optimal equilibrium. x Respect for local values and decisions in policy-making, fostering self-management according to sustainable development principles. x Social awareness of the importance of the culture sector in the creation of employment and wealth. x Environmentalist turn in developed countries. x The politization of culture runs in parallel with the increasing social claim to have access to culture: development of “cultural rights”. x Increasing social concern about aesthetics along with the disempowerment of ideology: a demand for the right to beauty. x Social claim for a strengthening of the local identity against the global tendency to homogenization.


Appendix E

Table 10. National Heritage Areas: year of designation and State. Source:

1984 1986 1988 1988 1994 1994 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1996 1998 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2003 2004 2004 2004 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2008

Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor IL John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor MA Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor PA Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Route (Path of Progress) PA Cane River National Heritage Area LA Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor CT & MA Cache La Poudre River Corridor CO America’s Agricultural Heritage Partnership IA Augusta Canal National Heritage Area GA Essex National Heritage Area NY Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area MA National Coal Heritage Area WV Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor OH Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area PA Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District VA South Carolina National Heritage Corridor SC Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area TN Automobile National Heritage Area MI Wheeling National Heritage Area WV Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area AZ Lackawanna Valley National Heritage Area PA Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area PA Erie Canalway National Heritage Area NY Blue Ridge National Heritage Area NC Mississippi Golf Coast National Heritage Area MS National Aviation Heritage Area OH Oil Region National Heritage Area PA Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area GA Atchafalaya National Heritage Area LA Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership NY & VT Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area NJ Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area KS & MO Great Basin National Heritage Area NV & UT Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor NC, SC, GA, FL

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas

2008 2008 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011


National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area UT Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area NM National Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area CT & MA Abraham Lincoln NHA, P.L. Journey through Hallowed Ground N.H.A. P.L. Niagara Falls N.H.A. NY Susquehanna Gateway N.H.A. PA Santa Cruz Valley NHA Sangre de Cristo NHA, CO South Park NHA, CO Northern Plains NHA, ND Baltimore NHA, MD Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, MA/NH Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area, MS Mississippi Delta NHA, MS Muscle Shoals NHA, AL Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm NHA, AK Sacramento-San Joaquín Delta NHA Buffalo Bayou NHA

Appendix E


Table 11. Management framework of Heritage Areas and Cultural Parks. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.






-Blackstone River Valley NHC -South western Pennsylvania NH Route -National Coal HA -Delaware & Lehigh NHC -Illinois & Michigan Canal NHC -Cache La Poudre River Corridor NHA -Cane River NHA -Gettysburg N. Military Park

Lackawanna Heritage Valley NHA -Allegheny Ridge SHP -Augusta Canal N.H.A. -Oil Region SHP -Beamish Open Air Museums -Dunaskin Open Air Museums -Rhondda Heritage Park - Ripoll FP -Sud Milano AP -Ciaculli Palermo AP Shenandoah Valley Battlefields NH District -IBA Fürst Pücler Land - Bergslagen EC/CP - Camín de la Mesa CP

-Rivers of Steel NHA -Ohio &Erie Canal N Heritage Corridor -Automobile N.H.A. -Essex N.H.A. -Ecomusee Le-CreusotMontceau Les Mines -Ironbridge Gorge OA Museums -Silos & Smokestacks NH partnership -Grenoblois AP -IBA Routes Emscher Park -Tennessee Civil War NHA -Quinebaug &Shetucket - Rivers Valley N Heritage Corridor

-IBA Emscher Park -South Carolina NHA -Hudson River Valley NHA -Schuylkill Heritage Corridor NHA -National Road Heritage Corridor SHP - Toscana CP scheme - Aragón CP scheme -Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor SHP -Endless Mountains S. Heritage Park - Po FP -Duisburg Nord LP - California Citrus SHP

-Lowell NHP -New Lanark WHS -Navás-Berga FP -Skagit Valley -Agriculture Enterprise District Cumberland -Baix Llobregat AP -Alba-Ter FP - Colonies Llobregat CP

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Table 12. Heritage practices according to communicative and formal potential. From Sabaté (2004b).

High communicative potential High formal value Low formal value

Low communicative potential

Reenacted sites Ruins and material remains

Historic festivals Scenifications

Traditional Museums and exhibitions


Appendix E

Table 13. Projects classified according to their topological shape. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.

Linear (river, canal, historic route, etc.)

Homogeneous natural or administrative area

Decentralized network of Heritage elements

Monocentric projects

- Illinois & Michigan Canal NHC - Blackstone River Valley NHC -IBA Emscher Park -Delaware &Lehigh NHC -Ohio &Erie Canal NHC -Rivers of Steel NHA -Schuylkill Heritage Corridor NHA -National Road Heritage Corridor SHP -Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor SHP -Augusta Canal NHA -Cache La Poudre River Corridor NHA - Po FP - Ripoll FP - Alba-Ter FP - Navás-Berga FP

-Lackawanna Heritage Valley NHA -National Coal HA -Allegheny Ridge SHP -Hudson River Valley NHA - Aragón CP scheme - Toscana CP scheme -Essex NHA -Oil Region SHP -Endless Mountains SHP -Silos &Smokestacks NH Partnership -Tennessee Civil war NHA -Shenandoah Valley Battlefields NH District -IBA Fürst Pücler Land - Grenoblois AP - Val di Cornia CP - Bergslagen CP - Camín de la Mesa CP

-Southwestern Pennsylvania NH Route -South Carolina NHA -Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley Heritage Corridor -Automobile NHA -EC Le Creusot Montceau-Les Mines -Ironbridge Gorge O.A. Museums -IBA Routes Emscher Park - Aragón CP scheme

-Lowell NH Park -Cane River NHA -New Lanark WHS -Duisburg Nord LP -Beamish Open Air Museums -Dunaskin Open Air Museums -Rhondda Heritage Park -Skagit Valley -Agriculture Enterprise District Cumberland -California Citrus SHP - Ciaculli Palermo AP - Baix Llobregat AP -Gettysburg N Military Park - Louisville Riverside -Candestlick Point CP

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Table 14. Classification according to the prevailing type of heritage resource. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.

Historic Heritage: artistic or architectural

Territorial Heritage: Industrial, built and agricultural landscapes

-Lowell NH Park -Southwestern Pennsylvania NH Route -Allegheny Ridge SHP -Augusta Canal NHA -Cane River NHA -New Lanark WHS -Duisburg Nord LP -Beamish Open Air Museums -Dunaskin Open Air Museums -Rhondda Heritage Park -IBA Routes Emscher Park -National Road Heritage Corridor SHP -Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor SHP -Shenandoah Valley Battlefields NH District -Gettysburg N. Military Park

-Blackstone Valley NHC -IBA Emscher Park -Lackawanna Heritage Valley NHA -Rivers of Steel NHA -Delaware & Lehigh NHC -Schuylkill Heritage Corridor NHA -Hudson River Valley NHA - Aragón CP scheme - Toscana CP scheme -EC Le CreusotMontceau-Les Mines -Ironbridge Gorge O.A. Museums - Navás-Berga FP - Val di Cornia CP - Bergslagen EC/CP - Ripoll FP -National Coal HA -Essex NHA -Oil Region SHP -Automobile N.H.A. -Endless Mountains SHP -Tennessee Civil War NHA -IBA Fürst Pücler Land -Grenoblois AP

Natural Heritage: natural areas, areas of ecological interest -South Carolina NHA -Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley NH Corridor - Po FP - Alba-Ter FP -New River American Heritage River

Recreational areas with routes or scenic views and landscapes -Illinois & Michigan Canal NH Corridor -Ohio &Erie Canal NH Corridor -Cache La Poudre River Corridor NHA -Silos & Smokestacks NH Partnership -Skagit Valley -Agriculture Enterprise District Cumberland -California Citrus SHP - Sud Milano AP - Ciaculli Palermo AP - Baix Llobregat AP - Louisville Riverside -Candestlick Point CP - Camín de la Mesa CP


Appendix E

Table 15. Classification according to the predominant stated objective of the project. However, in most cases all objectives are interrelated. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources. Economic development

Cultural preservation

Natural preservation

-Blackstone River Valley NHC -Hudson River Valley NHA -Rivers of Steel NHA -Ohio & Erie Canal NHC -South Carolina N.H.A. -Schuylkill Heritage Corridor SHP -Cache La Poudre River Corridor NHA -Augusta Canal NHA -IBA Emscher Park - Grenoblois AP -Silos &Smokestacks NH Partnership - Baix Llobregat AP - Cisculli Palermo AP -Agriculture Enterprise District Cumberland - Val di Cornia CP - Camín de la Mesa CP

-Southwestern Pennsylvania NH Route -Delaware & Lehigh NHC -Lackawanna Heritage Valley -National Coal HA -Allegeny Ridge SHP - Navás –Berga FP -Automobile NHA - Ripoll FP -Essex NHA -Cane River NHA -Lowell NHP -New Lanark WHS -Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor SHP -National Road Heritage Corridor SHP -Endless Mountains SHP -Skagit Valley - Colonies Llobregat CP

-Illinois& Michigan Canal NHC -Quinebaug &Shetucket Rivers Valley NHC -Oil Region Heritage Park -Duisburg Nord Landscape Park - Po FP -Land Garden Show IBA -Nordstern Landscape Park IBA -Lakeside park IBA -Gehölzgarten Riphorst oberhausen - Sud Milano AP -IBA Fürst Pückler Land

Education, interpretation and research - Le CreusotMontceau Les Mines EC -Ironbridge Gorge Open Air Museums -Beamish Open Air Museums -Shenandoah Valley Battlefields NH District -Tennessee Civil war NHA -California Citrus SHP - Bergslagen EC/CP

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Table 16. Classification according to the territorial scope of the project. Source: elaborated by the author from different sources.

Valley, region

Linear development (river, historic route, etc.)

Sub-region / group of local communities

Local area, historical site

-Blackstone Valley NHC - IBA Emscher Park -South Carolina NHA - Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley NHC -EC Le CreusotMontceau-Les Mines -National Coal Heritage Area - Hudson River Valley NHA -Parco Fluviale del Po -Proyecto AlbaTer, FP -Silos &Smokestacks NH partnership -Tennessee Civil war NHA -Shenandoah Valley Battlefields NH District IBA Fürst Pücler Land - Grenoblois, AP - Bergslagen EC/CP

-Illinois & Michigan Canal NHC -Delaware &Lehigh NHC -Ohio &Erie Canal NHC -Rivers of Steel NHA -Schuylkill Heritage Corridor NHA - Colonies Llobregat CP -Southwestern Pennsylvania NH Route -National Road Corridor SHP -Lincoln Highway Corridor SHP -Cache La Poudre River Corridor NHA - Ripoll FP - Navás-Berga FP -IBA Routes, Emscher Park - Camín de la Mesa CP

-Lackawanna Heritage Valley NHA -Allegheny Ridge S. Heritage Park -Oil Region SHP - Val di Cornia CP -Endless Mountains SHP -Cane River NHA -Essex NHA Automobile NHA -Ironbridge Gorge O. A. Museums -Toscana CP scheme - Aragón CP scheme

-Augusta Canal NHA - Lowell N. Historical Park -Cane River NHA - New Lanark WHS -Duisburg Nord LP -Beamish Open Air Museums -Dunaskin Open Air Museums - Rhondda Heritage Park -Skagit Valley Agriculture Enterprise District Cumberland -California Citrus SHP - Sud Milano AP - Ciaculli Palermo AP - Baix Llobregat AP -Gettysburg N. Military Park - Louisville Riverside -Candestlick Point CP


Appendix E

Table 17. Summary of differences between park management frameworks. Adapted from Phillips (2003).

Traditional park management framework


Governance Local people

Wider context


New tendencies in park management framework

-Set aside for conservation -Established mainly for spectacular wildlife and scenic protection -Managed mainly for visitors and tourist -Valued as wilderness -About protection

-Run also with social and economic objectives -Often set up for scientific, economic, and cultural reasons -Managed with local people more in mind -Valued for the cultural importance of so-called Wilderness -Also about restoration and rehabilitation

-Run by central government

-Run by many partners

-Planned and managed against people -Managed without regard to local opinions -Developed separately -Managed as “islands”

-Run with, for, and in some cases by local people -Managed to meet the needs of local people -Planned as part of national, regional and international systems -Developed as “networks”(strictly protected areas, buffered and linked by green corridors) -Viewed also as a community asset -Viewed also as an international concern

-Viewed primarily as a national asset -Viewed only as a national concern

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas

Management techniques

-Managed reactively within short timescale -Managed in technocratic way

--Managed adaptively in long-term perspective -Managed with political considerations

-Paid for by taxpayer

-Paid for from many sources

-Managed by scientists and natural resource experts -Expert-led

-Managed by multi-skilled individuals -Drawing on local knowledge

Finance Management skills


Table 18. Evolution of management practices during the last decades. Adapted from Sally Jeanrenaud (2002).





Perception of nature


-Ecosystem; biodiversity; ecoregions

-Culture in nature and nature in culture

Environmental values

-Theocentric and anthropocentric

-Anthropocentric and cosmocentric

-Anthropocentric and cosmocentric

Diagnosis of environmental problems

-Overpopulation exceeding the land´s carrying capacity

-Poverty; overpopulation

-Power relations; North-South inequalities; what counts as a problem and to whom?


Appendix E

Representations of local people

-People are the threat

-People can´t be ignored; people are a resource

-Align with rural people

Solutions and technologies

-Exclusionary protected areas

-Buffer zones, integrated conservation and development programs; sustainable use; community-based conservation

-Alternative protected areas; participatory natural resource management; human rights

-Alliances with elites

-Technocratic alliances

-Alliances with grassroots

-Colonial conservation; elitist interests

-Sustainable development debate; growing concern for livelihoods

-Democracy / human rights, movement; participatory development; post-modern influence on natural and social sciences

Power relations

Key influences

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Scheme 1. Tentative classification of cultural Parks according to the degree of abstraction of the story. Source: author.


Appendix E

Scheme 2. Scheme summarising Joaquín Sabaté’s view of cultural parks according to his “ideal cultural park” formulation. Source: author from Sabaté (2004b).

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Scheme 3. The scheme shows the different conceptions of the functioning of language according to Saussure and Hjemslev. Source: author.

Scheme 4. Michel Foucault’s disciplinary system assemblage. Adapted from Foucault (1975). FORM

CONTENT Non-discursive Visible

EXPRESSION Discursive Sayable

x The architecture of the prison x The distribution of light and darkness in Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon principle x The practice of regimentation x Penal law: x The set of statements pertaining to delinquency x The history of legal precedents x The organization of legal arguments, etc.

SUBSTANCE x The bodies of singular prisoners with their own properties and capacities x The physical material required for the prison x The discursive objects produced by the various definitions of “delinquency/criminality”

Scheme 5. Karl Palmas’ “modern corporation” model of assemblage. Adapted from Palmas (2007). FORM CONTENT Non-discursive Visible EXPRESSION Discursive Sayable


x Human resources arrangement within the corporation: inspection and control

x x x

x Economics, management theory, corporative law, etc.

x Raison d’être of the corporation: notions of professionalism based on a rational objective and profit maximizing ideal.

Workers Professionals Managers


Appendix E

Scheme 6. The image shows an ideal formulation of a cultural park conceived as an “assemblage” following the ideas of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. Source: author.

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Scheme 7. The scheme shows an ideal formulation of the diagram in a cultural park. The diagram does not reinstate binary thinking but rather traces how the social actors create and put to work these dichotomies. Moreover, it does so according to degrees of intensity and not to clear-cut categories. No real park ever entirely coincides with either category, only approaching the different categories as a limit: the park becomes more or less preservative or creative depending on the degree to which it approaches the connections laid out for it by a social group. The scheme shows the most common oppositions at work in cultural parks that play a key role in their constitution and functioning. Source: author.


Appendix E

Scheme 8. Scheme showing the administrative framework of the Val di Cornia Partnership Park. There is a clear division between nature and culture management and between issues of “heritage” and “marketing”. Source: adapted from (Casini & Zucconi, 2003).


Image 1 (over). Camín de la Mesa Cultural Park (Asturias, Spain). The image shows the different routes and cultural itineraries that provide a structure to the territory. The whole area comprised by the Cultural Park is divided into municipalities to maintain a territorial balance in the initiatives, profiting from the cultural and natural heritage assets held by each of them. For instance, one of the routes focuses on the remnants of the Civil War, while the others include on water resources, ancient mining works, prehistory and agricultural resources. In this sense, the Camín de la Mesa Cultural Park is a good example of an European project: it does not tell a general story about the area, it is a top-down initiative promoted by European Funding institutions and the regional government, it is bureaucratically managed, and its stated objectives are to achieve sustainable rural development and improve the identity of the area. Courtesy of Margarita Fernández Mier.


Appendix F

Cultural Parks and National Heritage Areas


Images 2 and 3. Pictures of one of the textile colonies spread along the Llobregat River (Barcelona, Spain). The fluvial park of the Colonias del Llobregat was the first designed by Joaquín Sabaté and Pere Vall in Catalonia trying to follow American management strategies. Courtesy of Pere Vall.


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