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Thinking Deep. Acting on Top. Underground Built Heritage and Its Fringe as a Community Catalyst for Local Sustainable Development: Exploratory Cases from Poland and Greece

Gabriela Maksymiuk (), Montserrat Pallares-Barbera (), Paschalis Arvanitidis and Beata J. Gawryszewska ()
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Gabriela Maksymiuk: Department of Landscape Architecture, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 159 Nowoursynowska Street, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
Montserrat Pallares-Barbera: Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Beata J. Gawryszewska: Department of Landscape Art, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 166 Nowoursynowska, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 24, 1-29

Abstract: Underground Built Heritage (UBH) is a distinct class of cultural heritage providing a focal point for community pride and engagement to become a springboard for local sustainable development (LSD). This research aims to articulate how local UBH and its fringe serve as a facilitator of communal identity to mobilize community care towards social and economic development with less involvement from the state and the market actors. For this purpose, local (and less-conspicuous) cases of UBH are employed in Warsaw, Poland, and Volos, Greece, indicating the power of UBH to connect and engage local communities with places, triggering a momentum for a truly bottom-up action that pays less attention to market considerations and state support. The studied UBH sites have been discussed according to an established common framework, dealing with five main issues: (a) general context and status, (b) history, (c) users and management, (d) ecosystem services, and (e) introduction of the paradigm of living labs. The analysis was based on a thorough literature review and complemented by field observations and interviews. The results provide evidence for UBH as a potential facilitator of social and economic development. The case studies in Poland and Greece showed that local actors were involved in activities and social networks of tacit knowledge, generating community building to reinforce bottom-up activities in contact with UBH.

Keywords: cultural heritage; case study method; living labs; bottom-up processes; place and community based approaches (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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