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Guest Lecture: “Unfolding Urban Heritage Conservation As Community-Led Local Development” – Dr. Elena Battaglini


We are pleased to invite you to the guest lecture by Dr. Elena Battaglini, Senior Scientist at the Di Vittorio Foundation (Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vittorio) and Teaching member at the PhD Programme at the University of Roma Tre in Rome, which will take place on Friday, the 14th of December 2018 at 17.00h, in the Room 200 of the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade.

“Unfolding Urban Heritage Conservation as Community-Led Local Development”
Dr. Elena Battaglini

The lecture is part of the “Learning Economies. Modelling Community-Led Local Development for the Sustainable Economic Trajectories of the Negotin and Zlatibor Regions“, the international research project of bilateral cooperation between The Italian Republic and The Republic of Serbia.

All welcome!

Urban heritage is a complex and often dissonant social issue that addresses preservation and development approaches characterized by high levels of complexity and ambiguity, as it involves different social actors and communities with divergent values, interests, meanings, and perspectives. While initially applied to traditional urban planning measures, regional studies and sustainability scholars and practitioners have increasingly utilized new lens in approaching it. Their growing efforts aim at (1) describing, if not explaining, how the multiple dimensions of many sustainable issues perceived in heritage, valued at the place-based level, can easily transcend urban boundaries with complex retroactions, and (2) exploring new ways of addressing policies in much broader regional contexts, and even trying to find new alliances between cities on the international level.

Facing the complexities of global challenges ‘we need new ways of seeing the world, being in the world and imagining and doing politics’ (Beck, 2016:181)’. Accordingly, a new conceptualization of heritage conservation understood as Community Led Local Development might help explaining why complex social issues, such as valuable resources, their affordances, the limits on their use, their preservation, and innovation cannot be solved using expert-driven, centralized, and rational–technical approaches.

The lecture will contribute to describe to what extent Community-led value-centred heritage problems are highly resistant to resolutions using rational choice approaches, since it expunges culture from its frame of references. Instead, they require a transformation or a metamorphosis in the way we conceptualize and approach them through public policies.


Dr. Elena Battaglini

Short CV
M.Sc. in Political Sciences, she holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Rural Sociology. Senior Scientist, she is chairing the Urban and Regional Economics’ Research Area of the Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vittorio (FDV), where she has been working since 1992. Teaching member at the PhD Programme “Landscapes of the contemporary city. Policies, techniques and visual studies” at the University of Roma Tre. She has published more than thirty books, peer-reviewed articles and international research reports on the field of regional endogenous development and its innovation processes.