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Heritage 2018, 1(2), 220-238; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage1020015

Battling the Tides of Climate Change: The Power of Intangible Cultural Resource Values to Bind Place Meanings in Vulnerable Historic Districts

1,†
and
2,*,†
1
NC Wildlife Resources Commission, 1722 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699, USA
2
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 8004, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers)
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Abstract

Climate change increases not only the vulnerability of cultural resources, but also the cultural values that are deeply embedded in cultural resources and landscapes. As such, heritage managers are faced with imminent preservation challenges that necessitate the consideration of place meanings during adaptation planning. This study explores how stakeholders perceive the vulnerability of the tangible aspects of cultural heritage, and how climate change impacts and adaptation strategies may alter the meanings and values that are held within those resources. We conducted semi-structured interviews with individuals with known connections to the historic buildings located within cultural landscapes on the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore in the United States (US). Our findings revealed that community members hold deep place connections, and that their cultural resource values are heavily tied to the concepts of place attachment (place identity and place dependence). Interviews revealed a general acceptance of the inevitability of climate impacts and a transition of heritage meanings from tangible resources to intangible values. Our findings suggest that in the context of climate change, it is important to consider place meanings alongside physical considerations for the planning and management of vulnerable cultural resources, affirming the need to involve community members and their intangible values into the adaptive planning for cultural resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation planning; place attachment; place identity; place dependence; sea level rise adaptation planning; place attachment; place identity; place dependence; sea level rise
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Henderson, M.; Seekamp, E. Battling the Tides of Climate Change: The Power of Intangible Cultural Resource Values to Bind Place Meanings in Vulnerable Historic Districts. Heritage 2018, 1, 220-238.

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