The special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies focuses on interdisciplinary heritage science and targets the question how demographic instability – mainly depopulation – affects cultural transmission, and considers means for the safeguarding cultural heritage.

Absolute depopulation refers to a decline in population numbers, for example by emigration, or by a slight decline or massive fall in fertility, potentially ageing the population pyramid “from below”. By relative depopulation we mean a slower pace of population density growth in a particular region, in comparison to other regions. Moreover, we distinguish depopulation in a narrowly demographic sense (population decline, or the migration of certain age categories; displacement) and depopulation in a cultural sense.

Send your proposals to before the end of March.

Tangible cultural heritage and depopulation

We accept studies, analyses and syntheses of immovable heritage broad context and the contemporary consequences of depopulation in the studied case study. Specifically, we will focus on questions:

1. What is the impact of demographic processes on the cultural identity of urban sites?

  • What is the relationship between philotopic value and ensuring the continuity of traditions?

  • How does the change in the local population affect the conservation of heritage sites?

  • How cultural heritage is, and could be, activated in a bottom-up way under changing demographic situations?

2. What are the physical changes to protected properties and how do they affect objects?

  • Does functional transformation affect the preservation of the authenticity of heritage sites?

  • Do physical changes to heritage sites affect their cultural value?

  • What is the relationship between the change of heritage assets and the transformation of the neighbourhood depending on its type?

  • How does the transformation of urban neighbourhoods affect local communities?

Intangible cultural heritage and depopulation

The main themes of the call is the relationship between demographic trends and intangible cultural heritage in regions threatened by depopulation, with special emphasis on its sustainability. Specifically in a local communities, we will focus on the following questions:

1. How effective have the depopulated local communities been in protecting and disseminating cultural heritage?

  • What level of support do the local heritage organisations receive both from within the community and without?

  • How has the changing demographic, many new incomers and an aging population, affected

    the transmission of cultural heritage?

  • What are the consequences of depopulation for culture transmission in local population?

2. Which parts in studied regions have been particularly successful in mobilising cultural heritage to address demographic change?

  • What is the relationship between a territorially distinct population and its heritage that helps preserve a sustainable community?

  • What lessons can be learnt from the different local experiences that can be rolled out to other studied localities?

  • Is the concept of territoriality a factor in the desire to protect tangible and intangible cultural heritage?