Cultural Significance: Linking Actors and Methods

  • Gabriela GarcíaEmail author
  • Jorge Amaya
  • Alicia Tenze
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 18)


Central to the entire discipline of architectural heritage conservation is the concept of cultural significance. It refers to the collection of values associated with a cultural property which act as a guide for decision making process. However, recent evidence suggests that cultural values belong to a dynamic and complex system which changes permanently. As result of that, new values might be added to previous ones, while in other cases, irreparable losses might be triggered. Thus, preservation of architectural properties is clearly conditioned by the capacity to reveal the major range of values through the implication of a variety of actors. The case study of two traditional neighborhoods of Cuenca, Ecuador seeks to examine similarities and complementarities on cultural values identification by two different actors: academic and civil members. A holistic approach is utilised, integrating the most recent recommendations from the cultural field referred to the cultural mapping and recommendations from the Socio-praxis discipline. This study makes a major contribution to research on values-based management by proposing a methodology to link an interdisciplinary approach with an active community participation. The paper has been divided into four parts. The first part describes the conceptual framework, the second presents a brief description of the territorial context of analysis, while the third part presents the methodological process and tools utilized to identify cultural values. Finally, the conclusion gives a brief summary and critique of the findings concerning to the values identified as well as to the utilized methods.


Interdisciplinary research Architectural heritage Community involvement Participatory assessment Cultural values 



The authors kindly acknowledge the research team of the World Heritage City Preservation Management/“Ciudad Patrimonio Mundial” (vlirCPM) and Research Direction of the University of Cuenca (DIUC). In addition, the authors would like to stress the valuable involvement of students of the last year of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Cuenca who collaborated on gathering and digitalizing information.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Project Vlir City Preservation Management, Faculty of Architecture and UrbanismUniversity of CuencaCuencaEcuador

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