Cultural heritage may be considered archaic to some people, but the fact is that it is the heritage we have acquired for generations. It is our legacy, physical places, memories, tangible beliefs, practices, and so much more. Although some people may not see the need to assess, manage and preserve culture, it still affects them unknowingly, whether directly or indirectly.
Their social behavior, some of their beliefs, and some of their customs are greatly affected by their cultural background. In this modern world, more and more people embrace the need to assess and manage their cultural heritage and make sure the knowledge is passed down to future generations.
This article explores the debatable question as to why cultural heritage assessment is important in the current societal landscape. But let’s start by understanding what cultural heritage assessment is first:
A heritage impact assessment is a study conducted on a built heritage resource or a cultural landscape (Subject property). The study also involves studying the impacts of a development or alteration of the proposed subject property. A heritage impact assessment should include conservation methods of the subject property. A conservation approach should have ways to avoid negative impacts on the subject property.
Heritage impact assessment helps maintain the cultural heritage of a people and allows them to continue passing down the cultural heritage to future generations.
A cultural heritage management plan mainly focuses on maintaining the culture and heritage of a society. However, the big difference between culture and heritage helps people understand the importance of cultural heritage management.
Culture is a way of life passed down to a particular group of people. Culture, therefore, can be displayed in how people relate, how they dress, how they cook, their customs, their values, etc. These customs are handed down as habits from one generation to the next, but they evolve through time to become a way of life.
Heritage, on the other hand, is considered as anything worth passing down to the next generations. Therefore, heritage is mainly categorized into two divisions where cultural heritage involves heritage sites. These sites include monuments, heritage sites, cultural practices, language, and so on.
With this understanding, you can now tell why a cultural heritage management plan is vital to the human race culture. For instance, cultural heritage management generates revenue from tourism, helps bring the communities of that country together, and enhances cultural appreciation. Some of the benefits of managing cultural heritages include;
Keeping up with cultural practices and managing some of the heritage sites available to us helps us create a sense of belonging and a feeling of identity. When keeping up with the traditions passed down to us, we experience a feeling of belonging to a specific community or a group of people with the same beliefs.
The history and cultural practices may also determine the direction of a nation in decision-making and how citizens of that nation interact. The oneness that cultural heritage brings about among people brings about a spirit of oneness of a country. For example, suppose a country has a monument where traditional activities like traditional sports occur. In that case, people will likely connect to the monument, which causes a sense of togetherness and unity among the citizens.
Take it as an example; how would you feel if you are amidst a people with a different way of life and how they relate to each other? One sure thing is that you would feel out of place. But, on the other hand, if you live among people with different cultures, where no one has belongs to like the other person? One possible result is that after a long time, one is bound to lose their identity. Moreover, you would be confused about which culture to follow.
On the other hand, living at a place where you are connected to the same cultural practices, you may feel that you belong to that community, thus identifying yourself with the community. This subsequently improves your identity as a person and therefore counts as one of the reasons why cultural heritage assessment is important.
Professionals provide cultural heritage assessment services to ensure that culture is thoroughly taken care of with developments on the proposed property.
Heritage impact assessment is a sensitive project to undertake, but very important in the long run. Now that you know Why Cultural Heritage Assessment is important, its also essential to understand that experts can do it best. For this reason, communities, institutions, or governments looking to launch a cultural heritage management plan should only hire the best specialists. These practices also involve environmental aspects, which need experienced personnel well-versed in environmental planning and management to avoid further destruction of the environment.