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Heritage Planning in Practice and the Role of Cultural Ecosystem Services

Journal article
Authors Ingegärd Eliasson
Igor Knez
Susanne Fredholm
Published in Heritage & Society
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 44-69
ISSN 2159-032X
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Conservation
Pages 44-69
Language en
Keywords Cultural heritage, place identity, aesthetic and existential values, cultural landscape, heritage planning, ecosystem services, integrated planning
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Other Social Sciences, Psychology, Other Humanities


This paper investigates the role of cultural ecosystem services in heritage planning by examining daily working processes at the municipal and county planning levels. The focus was on the cultural ecosystem service dimensions of cultural heritage, place identity, and aesthetic and existential values. Cultural ecosystem service dimensions are currently inadequately represented in research and application of the ecosystem service concept. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with public officials with formal assignments directly related to heritage planning. The results show that cultural ecosystem services are indeed considered in the planning processes, even though the respondents did not actually use the ecosystem service approach. Despite institutional and methodological constraints, respondents were found to aim for a broad planning approach involving dimensions of the landscape such as historic time depth, human use of the landscape, place identity, landscape views, and a strong integration between culture and nature. Thus, the results indicate a potential for integration of cultural ecosystem service dimensions into the ecosystem service approach by utilizing existing knowledge and practices within heritage planning at the local and regional levels.

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