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Audit design: a semi-automated method to scrutinize community involvement in heritage management plans

Parlak, Gizem 2021. Audit design: a semi-automated method to scrutinize community involvement in heritage management plans. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee provides a specific set of guidelines for managing cultural world heritage (UNESCO 2013a) in which community involvement is considered as an essential part of it. Interaction with local communities inhabiting in the World Heritage Sites results in knowledge exchange in their management processes. In traditional (top-down) decision making processes, the direction of knowledge transfer is normally from professionals to lay people and defined as informative. In contemporary participatory decision-making processes, knowledge transfer is multi-directional and reciprocal. Public participation is discussed widely in the literature in terms of its means and degrees focusing on the interactions between the public and the professionals or authorities using scales for the quantity and the content of these interactions. However, the literature is deprived of discussions on the information transfer from these interactions to the decision-making processes. Rather than examining methods for community participation or discussing degrees of participation, this research approaches cultural heritage management from a rather unconventional way, questioning the levels of local knowledge transfer into actions and interventions in the context of World Heritage Sites management plans. Therefore, its aim is to propose a transferable method for gauging knowledge transfer from communities to site management plans in participatory heritage management processes of WHS. To do so, it analyses two types of data: (i) community meeting reports, and (ii) site management plans; and examines how much the former informs the latter through a mixed methods approach, starting with a full qualitative analysis and finishing with a semi-automated method called ‘Audit Design’. The method is developed and deployed to two case studies in Turkey, which had changes in its legislative approach to community participation in world heritage management from 2005. The Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape WHS (case study 1) is used to develop and validate a semi-automated method which is subsequently deployed and tested in Bursa and Cumalıkızık: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire WHS (case study 2) to assess its potential and transferability to different contexts. This semi-automated method is born out of a variety of techniques including qualitative social research, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and knowledge representation methods. The Framework Method is used to summarise and display the data in thematic matrices so an analytic framework can be developed. These matrices are created automatically using information extraction techniques from NLP. Finally, to make inferences about the levels of knowledge transfer from community meetings to the site management plan, a rule-based method from the knowledge representation domain, comprising an inference mechanism with if-then rules is employed to extract and gauge knowledge transfer from community focus group meetings into site management plan actions. Results from both case studies showed that Audit Design has great potential to scrutinise community involvement in the development of management plans for World Heritage Sites as it can quickly assess and gauge knowledge transfer with some nuances expressed in terms of percentages of transferability. These nuances can be used to establish benchmarks for comparisons as well as benchmarks of acceptance either in Turkey and/or UNESCO to better ensure the involvement of communities in the development of values and the management of WHS. Keywords: heritage management, community involvement, citizen professional, knowledge transfer, knowledge engineering

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 September 2021
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2022 01:33

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