Natural and Cultural Heritage in the European Islands: an Interdisciplinary Approach
The designing of a new knowledge model – to be tested on particularly significant cultural areas such as Islands and on their historic urban spaces, taking into account the tangible and intangible elements of their historical cultural heritage – is a concrete opportunity to resume a debate aimed at identifying a scientifically correct and interdisciplinary methodology of analysis to attain thorough knowledge of the various factors that contribute to the definition of historical, architectural, anthropological, and landscape-based features of towns and historic centres, particularly those of islands. This knowledge process should strive to overcome an approach, focused mostly on the protection of individual architectural features of great historical-artistic importance. This perspective concentrates on monumental structures and major architectural works rather than on a much wider heritage, made up of artefacts displaying various levels of quality, which take on specific scientific relevance because of their mutual functional and structural relations and the historical, social, anthropological, and landscape context which they express. However, following such a method, the various disciplines involved in the research activity can assess their mutual ability to relate to one another when they deal with a wide subject, which actually includes several areas of common interest. A methodologically correct research view must provide a knowledge framework that is both detailed and comprehensive in describing the mutual relations among the features of historic centres as well as how the latter are linked to the surrounding environment and landscape. Last but not least, it can be clearly seen that such an operation would pave the way for specific sector-based interventions with great economic potential for the areas involved; even if adequate tools of such economic analysis are still lacking.
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