Background and aim of the paper. Urban regeneration is a wide research area that mainly focused on how to innovate degraded districts and abandoned modern buildings to contribute to city development. However, urban regeneration also applies to historical cities, rich in cultural heritage, that lack of social and economic opportunities for citizens and risk desertification of their historical centres (Stolarick and Florida, 2006; Cooke and Lazzeretti, 2008; Ertan, T., & Eğercioğlu). The key challenge is to reinvent the way spaces are exploited, build on culture to breathe new life into historic centres and activate local knowledge and capabilities that generate new opportunities to achieve civic wealth creation (Lumpkin and Bacq, 2019, Rock H2020 project). Unfortunately, the mechanisms of how cities can capitalise on cultural legacy, heritage and past knowledge to activate effective and sustainable urban regeneration has not been investigated under a knowledge management perspective with a few rare exceptions (Dameri & Demartini, 2020). Therefore, this paper aims to understand factors and processes that leverage from intangible and tangible cultural heritage (i.e. local know-how, tacit and codified knowledge linked to local crafts and tradition; arts masterpieces and cultural heritage assets) to sustain innovation/creation of social, cultural and economic wealth. Namely, it questions: How can a local administration leverage a World Heritage site to foster the regeneration of the local economy and bring positive societal change? Research Method. The paper adopts a qualitative approach. It focuses on the case of Urbino, a Unesco world heritage site whose population and economic status is declining because citizens and businesses are attracted by the lure of higher revenues and better quality of life of nearby cities. Maintaining the vibrancy and the well-being of the community represents a challenge for the local government, which launched a series of initiative under the umbrella project named “Urbino per Bene”. The paper relies on abductive approach, which is a form of logical inference that begins with an observation or a series of observations and then tries to find out explanation. The basic assumption is that theory cannot be understood without empirical observation and vice versa.(Dubois & Gadde, 2002). Based on the observation of actions and outcomes obtained through one civic initiative known as “the Relaunch of the Data space”, the paper reconstructs the premises that activated the community process devoted to create civic wealth putting together different visions and theoretical perspectives on urban regeneration. Information on the case study were obtained from unstructured interviews with key actors of the project. Additional information was extracted from the analysis of public documents such as the municipality website, public speeches and the city strategic plan. Findings and implications. The case study analysed revealed that culture and artistic knowledge and capabilities that belong to the tradition of a city rich in heritage can be the lever of innovation and boost civic wealth. Searching the past for looking to the future is however a difficult task. Empirical data allowed to identify the main challenges that a city manager has to face: attract talent, create jobs and trigger the spur of new ventures; establish spaces for artists and cultural activities; preserve and promote local know-how; develop a strategy to attract SMEs belonging to the cultural and creative sector. Moreover, it shows the relevance of involvement of multiple stakeholders in societal change initiatives and the importance of managing assets through public-private cooperation. However, it also identifies the missing elements that hindered the city to continue exploiting its potential related to cultural heritage (e.g. absence of a financing ecosystem available for the creative and cultural sector, scarcity of resources). Lastly, the paper highlights the power of participatory cultural initiatives (Biondi et al. 2020) be used for the preservation, restoration and revitalisation of physical heritage assets ( Dameri & Moggi, 2019).

Civic Wealth Creation: Reinterpreting and Regenerating Historical Cities

Selena Aureli;
2021

Abstract

Background and aim of the paper. Urban regeneration is a wide research area that mainly focused on how to innovate degraded districts and abandoned modern buildings to contribute to city development. However, urban regeneration also applies to historical cities, rich in cultural heritage, that lack of social and economic opportunities for citizens and risk desertification of their historical centres (Stolarick and Florida, 2006; Cooke and Lazzeretti, 2008; Ertan, T., & Eğercioğlu). The key challenge is to reinvent the way spaces are exploited, build on culture to breathe new life into historic centres and activate local knowledge and capabilities that generate new opportunities to achieve civic wealth creation (Lumpkin and Bacq, 2019, Rock H2020 project). Unfortunately, the mechanisms of how cities can capitalise on cultural legacy, heritage and past knowledge to activate effective and sustainable urban regeneration has not been investigated under a knowledge management perspective with a few rare exceptions (Dameri & Demartini, 2020). Therefore, this paper aims to understand factors and processes that leverage from intangible and tangible cultural heritage (i.e. local know-how, tacit and codified knowledge linked to local crafts and tradition; arts masterpieces and cultural heritage assets) to sustain innovation/creation of social, cultural and economic wealth. Namely, it questions: How can a local administration leverage a World Heritage site to foster the regeneration of the local economy and bring positive societal change? Research Method. The paper adopts a qualitative approach. It focuses on the case of Urbino, a Unesco world heritage site whose population and economic status is declining because citizens and businesses are attracted by the lure of higher revenues and better quality of life of nearby cities. Maintaining the vibrancy and the well-being of the community represents a challenge for the local government, which launched a series of initiative under the umbrella project named “Urbino per Bene”. The paper relies on abductive approach, which is a form of logical inference that begins with an observation or a series of observations and then tries to find out explanation. The basic assumption is that theory cannot be understood without empirical observation and vice versa.(Dubois & Gadde, 2002). Based on the observation of actions and outcomes obtained through one civic initiative known as “the Relaunch of the Data space”, the paper reconstructs the premises that activated the community process devoted to create civic wealth putting together different visions and theoretical perspectives on urban regeneration. Information on the case study were obtained from unstructured interviews with key actors of the project. Additional information was extracted from the analysis of public documents such as the municipality website, public speeches and the city strategic plan. Findings and implications. The case study analysed revealed that culture and artistic knowledge and capabilities that belong to the tradition of a city rich in heritage can be the lever of innovation and boost civic wealth. Searching the past for looking to the future is however a difficult task. Empirical data allowed to identify the main challenges that a city manager has to face: attract talent, create jobs and trigger the spur of new ventures; establish spaces for artists and cultural activities; preserve and promote local know-how; develop a strategy to attract SMEs belonging to the cultural and creative sector. Moreover, it shows the relevance of involvement of multiple stakeholders in societal change initiatives and the importance of managing assets through public-private cooperation. However, it also identifies the missing elements that hindered the city to continue exploiting its potential related to cultural heritage (e.g. absence of a financing ecosystem available for the creative and cultural sector, scarcity of resources). Lastly, the paper highlights the power of participatory cultural initiatives (Biondi et al. 2020) be used for the preservation, restoration and revitalisation of physical heritage assets ( Dameri & Moggi, 2019).
Managing Knowledge in Uncertain Times’
1473
1490
Selena Aureli; Paola Demartini; Mara DelBaldo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/854866
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