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Special Issue "Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (18 October 2021) | Viewed by 8510

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Ernesto Marcheggiani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, UNIVPM, Ancona, 60131, Italy and Division of Forest, Nature and Landscape, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan, Leuven, 300, Belgium
Interests: rural development and regional development; spatial planning; geomatics; landscape ecology and complexity; tourism and heritage
Mr. Giuseppe Pace
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Studies on the Mediterranean, National Research Council of Italy, Naples, 80134, Italy
Interests: strategic planning; community empowerment; sustainability; collective learning processes; transition management; identity and cultural heritage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current experience of the COST action CA18110 “Underground Built Heritage as Catalyser for Community Valorisation” is pointing out the need to improve the current means, methods, policies, and practice for producing a balanced and sustainable approach to Underground Built Heritage conservation and promotion. This Special Issue focuses on two main research fields. The first is concentrated on holistic approaches to UBH conservation and re-use, while the second on the introduction in the cultural heritage of the paradigm of living labs, based on co-creation, co-development and co-management.

This Special Issue aims to value the underground space as a depository of local identity and history, placing its cultural component as a catalyst for a broader strategy of community engagement and regeneration policies. The overarching idea is to reverse the current sectoral planning literature approach, which considers only the spatial value of the underground, as an affordable solution for locating new urban functions and saving surface space for urban development.

To that end, this Special Issue aims at stimulating multidisciplinary papers and the cross-fertilization of knowledge among scientists (i.e., historians, architects, engineers, archaeologists, planners, geologists, etc.), practitioners, public officials, and technicians, such interdisciplinary initiatives being rather limited in the field of underground space. This issue would like to introduce tools, suitable for both neighborhood and district planning level and for single UBH interventions, very flexible for upscaling and easily replicable in different social, economic, and cultural urban regeneration contexts, characterized by different underground sites, local service demand, touristic potential, legal frameworks, and stakeholders. Finally, the call has the purpose of collecting specific case studies on UBH, characterized by interventions of urban and rural regeneration, or by experiences of sustainable tourism and creative entrepreneurship. The papers should investigate interaction mechanisms among the various actors involved, such as public institutions, private stakeholders, and local communities, and advance understanding, from both a theoretical and practical point of view, of the policy conditions allowing the conservation and valorization of UBH sites. In particular, they should investigate the best approaches for developing trust and transparency among different stakeholders, public and private, global and local, and how to integrate heritage aspects into sectoral policies. Only transparent and integrated policies will make it possible to achieve a cooperative approach by the authorities responsible for restoration and conservation, especially in the case of new functions for an underground artefact. As demonstrated by many success stories, UBH added-value increases when combined with objectives from other policies, such as spatial policy, water, energy or transport.

References:

Admiraal H, Narang Suri S (Eds) (2015) Think Deep: Planning, development and use of underground space in cities ISOCARP (ISBN: 978-94-90354-34-3) 

Akkar Ercan, M. (2013), Urban regeneration and sustainable community development in historic neighborhoods of Istanbul. The Routledge Companion to Urban Regeneration. M.E. Leary and J. McCarthy (eds.) Routledge: London. pp. 443-454

Brüll A. et al. (2017) Territorial cohesion through cross-border landscape policy? The European case of the Three Countries Park (BE-NL-DE), Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems, 3(1) 68–92 https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2017-0007

Čakovská B., Bihuňová M., Hansen P., Marcheggiani E., Galli A. (2019) Methodological Approaches to Reflect on the Relationships Between People, Spaces, Technologies (pp. 251-261). In: Smaniotto Costa C. et al. (eds) CyberParks – The Interface Between People, Places and Technology. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11380. Springer, Cham.

A Chua, L Servillo, E Marcheggiani, AV Moere (2016) Mapping Cilento: Using geotagged social media data to characterize tourist flows in southern Italy, Tourism Management 57, 295-310

Elisei P., Draghia M., Dane G., Onesciuc N., (2019) Cultural Heritage adaptive reuse for sustainable development pathways in creative and knowledge cities, Changing cities IV conference, Chania.

Genovese L, Yan H, Quattrocchi A, (eds) (2018), Preserving, Managing, and Enhancing the Archaeological Sites: Comparative Perspectives between China and Italy, CNR, Rome.

Hubert Gulinck, Ernesto Marcheggiani, Anna Verhoeve, Kirsten Bomans, Valerie Dewaelheyns, Frederik Lerouge, Andrea Galli (2018) The fourth regime of open space Sustainability 10 (7), 2143

Menezes M. & Costa D., Rodrigues D. (Eds.) Proceedings of IMaTTe - International conference on the values of tangible heritage. LNEC: Lisbon.

Pace, G. (2019), “Underground Built Heritage as catalyser for Community Valorisation”, in Conference Proceedings of 55th ISOCARP World Planning Congress in Jakarta/Bogor, Indonesia, pp. 1250-1260

Roberto Pierdicca, Marina Paolanti, Raffaele Vaira, Ernesto Marcheggiani, Eva Savina Malinverni, Emanuele Frontoni (2019) Identifying the use of a park based on clusters of visitors' movements from mobile phone data, Journal of Spatial Information Science (19), 29-52

Synnes, Kåre, Artopoulos, Georgios, Smaniotto Costa C., Menezes, Marluci, Redaelli, Gaia (2019). CyberParks Songs and Stories - Enriching Public Spaces with Localized Culture Heritage Material such as Digitized Songs and Stories. In Smaniotto Costa, C. et al. (Eds.) (2019): CyberParks - The Interface Between People, Places and Technology - New Approaches and Perspectives. Springer, Series: Information Systems and Applications LNCS 11380, 224-237. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-13417-4_18

Varriale R. (2019), Re-Inventing Underground Space in Matera, Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1070-1084

Zalamea Patiño, O., Van Orshoven, J., & Steenberghen, T. (2017) Merging and expanding existing ontologies to cover the Built Cultural Heritage domain. Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, 8(2), 162-178.

Prof. Ernesto Marcheggiani
Mr. Giuseppe Pace
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • underground built heritage
  • community empowerment
  • urban and rural regeneration
  • place management
  • sustainability transition
  • heritage conservation

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Thinking Deep. Acting on Top. Underground Built Heritage and Its Fringe as a Community Catalyst for Local Sustainable Development: Exploratory Cases from Poland and Greece
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 14031; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132414031 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Underground Built Heritage (UBH) is a distinct class of cultural heritage providing a focal point for community pride and engagement to become a springboard for local sustainable development (LSD). This research aims to articulate how local UBH and its fringe serve as a [...] Read more.
Underground Built Heritage (UBH) is a distinct class of cultural heritage providing a focal point for community pride and engagement to become a springboard for local sustainable development (LSD). This research aims to articulate how local UBH and its fringe serve as a facilitator of communal identity to mobilize community care towards social and economic development with less involvement from the state and the market actors. For this purpose, local (and less-conspicuous) cases of UBH are employed in Warsaw, Poland, and Volos, Greece, indicating the power of UBH to connect and engage local communities with places, triggering a momentum for a truly bottom-up action that pays less attention to market considerations and state support. The studied UBH sites have been discussed according to an established common framework, dealing with five main issues: (a) general context and status, (b) history, (c) users and management, (d) ecosystem services, and (e) introduction of the paradigm of living labs. The analysis was based on a thorough literature review and complemented by field observations and interviews. The results provide evidence for UBH as a potential facilitator of social and economic development. The case studies in Poland and Greece showed that local actors were involved in activities and social networks of tacit knowledge, generating community building to reinforce bottom-up activities in contact with UBH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
What the Ground Says…
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13420; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313420 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Ground, as a body incised by natural and human actions (European Landscape Convention), carries “stories”, going beyond quantitative values. As in a text, it holds the keys to understand what it covers or hides. In its thickness, it shelters “implicit projects”. Understanding its [...] Read more.
Ground, as a body incised by natural and human actions (European Landscape Convention), carries “stories”, going beyond quantitative values. As in a text, it holds the keys to understand what it covers or hides. In its thickness, it shelters “implicit projects”. Understanding its complexity requires a physical and perceptual commitment, challenging the body in space: dimensions gradually forgotten by Environmental Sciences. As a “threshold” between visible and invisible, Underground-Built-Heritage represents the reverse of the emerged world: hollow space, both generator and mirror of open space (cities, landscapes). The focus is on physical and mental relationships between these two worlds. Past and present relationships emerge, allowing hypotheses to reconstitute collective memories, practices, knowledge, and values, which serve territorial development. The “Three Countries Park” is a place for cross-border experimentation to test how UBH can rebuild common links for fragmented environments. The cavities of a geo-park (planned) and the tangles of underground mining architecture are the fragments of a vocabulary whose meaning communities have to relearn. Built undergrounds will, thus, emerge from common stories that revive the imagination of populations who have lost all notion of belonging to a place. UBH will become a vector of new territorial coherence linking the physical and mental perceptions of people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
3D Surveying of Underground Built Heritage: Opportunities and Challenges of Mobile Technologies
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313289 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
Among the existing Cultural Heritage settings, Underground Built Heritage (UBH) represents a peculiar case. The scarce or lack of knowledge and documentation of these spaces frequently limits their proper management, exploitation, and valorization. When mapping these environments for documentation purposes, the primary need [...] Read more.
Among the existing Cultural Heritage settings, Underground Built Heritage (UBH) represents a peculiar case. The scarce or lack of knowledge and documentation of these spaces frequently limits their proper management, exploitation, and valorization. When mapping these environments for documentation purposes, the primary need is to achieve a complete, reliable, and adequate representation of the built spaces and their geometry. Terrestrial laser scanners were widely employed for this task, although the procedure is generally time-consuming and often lacks color information. Mobile Mapping Systems (MMSs) are nowadays fascinating and promising technologies for mapping underground structures, speeding up acquisition times. In this paper, mapping experiences (with two commercial tools and an in-house prototype) in UBH settings are presented, testing the different handheld mobile solutions to guarantee an accurate and reliable 3D digitization. Tests were performed in the selected case study of Camerano Caves (Italy), characterized by volumetric complexity, poor lighting conditions, and difficult accessibility. The aim of this research activity is not only to show the differences in the technological instruments used for 3D surveying, but rather to argue over the pros and cons of the systems, providing the community with best practices and rules for 3D data collection with handheld mobile systems. The experiments deliver promising results when compared with TLS data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
The Unwanted Heritage of Prefabricated Wartime Air Raid Shelters—Underground Space Regeneration Feasibility for Urban Agriculture to Enhance Neighbourhood Community Engagement
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12238; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112238 - 05 Nov 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
The article deals with the problematic heritage associated with the system of Nazi German underground air raid shelters currently located within the Polish state, in the Baltic port city of Szczecin. The unwanted heritage has been inventoried, archival materials collected, and comparative analyses [...] Read more.
The article deals with the problematic heritage associated with the system of Nazi German underground air raid shelters currently located within the Polish state, in the Baltic port city of Szczecin. The unwanted heritage has been inventoried, archival materials collected, and comparative analyses made of ways in which the underground space can be revitalised. An attempt was made to develop a typology of existing shelters and their locations. In order to overcome the negative associations with the warlike military space, positive system solutions were sought for the productive use of existing concrete structures located underground in central, easily accessible areas of the city districts. A process of upcycling the space was used to make ecologically efficient use of the material resources contained in the shelters. In order to activate the local community, a modular, hydroponic plant-growing system, adapted to the prefabricated spaces of the historical air raid shelters, was proposed. In this way, the central location of the underground structures within the boundaries of residential neighbourhoods was exploited. Such action strengthens the food sovereignty of the inhabitants, initiates bottom-up activity within the boundaries of the neighbourhood unit, and builds social ties in the spirit of a regenerative economy and positive sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
Italian Catacombs and Their Digital Presence for Underground Heritage Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12010; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112010 - 30 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 464
Abstract
The Italian catacombs represent one of the most interesting examples of the country’s underground built heritage. A strategic use of digital technologies can foster their sustainability by providing virtual access to local communities and tourists, as well as by transferring their value to [...] Read more.
The Italian catacombs represent one of the most interesting examples of the country’s underground built heritage. A strategic use of digital technologies can foster their sustainability by providing virtual access to local communities and tourists, as well as by transferring their value to future generations. Referring to a classification of the catacombs of Italy carried out by the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology of Vatican City, this paper analyzes the digital presence of this heritage within the contexts of social media, video sharing and navigation platforms in institutional and touristic areas. The emerging results show a good digital presence of this cultural heritage on these platforms. At the same time, they reflect an almost total absence of 3D technologies, virtual reconstructions or augmented reality. Only 2 out of 63 catacombs analyzed offer a photographic overview of the sites through the online Google Art and Culture platform, but this is only a small example of what a virtual visit would offer. The following work is based on this notion, as it aims to demonstrate that this type of underground built heritage still has great potential for the valorization and sustainability of these sites through the use of digital technologies. The use of virtual and augmented reality, enhanced by immersive storytelling, would limit the physical wear and tear on the site, making its conservation sustainable in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
Sustainability of Underground Heritage; The Example of the Military Galleries of the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011356 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
This paper focuses on the underground military galleries and countermine system of the Petrovaradin Fortress near Novi Sad (Serbia). The Petrovaradin Fortress was presented within the working group Underground Built Heritage Reuse and Valorisation Strategies on the COST action Underground4value as a good [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the underground military galleries and countermine system of the Petrovaradin Fortress near Novi Sad (Serbia). The Petrovaradin Fortress was presented within the working group Underground Built Heritage Reuse and Valorisation Strategies on the COST action Underground4value as a good example of tourist valorised underground cultural heritage in Serbia. The goal of the paper is to consider as widely as possible the options that could contribute to the sustainability of these galleries. Numerous field observations, complex research of the literature as well as other available sources, and interviews with visitors to the fortress were necessary for this goal to be achieved. The paper has special historical and practical significance. On the one hand, it represents a record in time concerning the condition of the Petrovaradin Fortress. The practical significance is reflected in the scientific contribution based on the critical analysis of the results obtained from authorities on the Fortress and visitors, as well as the ideas that the authors conceived or adapted from similar sites in the world, assessing that these ideas can be applied to the Petrovaradin Fortress. The results of the paper explain the aspects of ecological, economic, and social sustainability of the Petrovaradin Fortress, and indicate the need for it to be supported by various institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
Planning Perspectives and Approaches for Activating Underground Built Heritage
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10349; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810349 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 834
Abstract
This paper delivers actionable recommendations towards building a rationale for activating and promoting Underground Built Heritage (UBH) based on the nexus heritage, territory and society, and making use of existing literature and findings from five international cases. The research was conducted in the [...] Read more.
This paper delivers actionable recommendations towards building a rationale for activating and promoting Underground Built Heritage (UBH) based on the nexus heritage, territory and society, and making use of existing literature and findings from five international cases. The research was conducted in the framework of the working group on Planning Approaches of the COST Action Underground4value. The analysis of the cases aims to provide guidelines for this working group and to benchmark good practices in activating UBH. It highlights the importance of community-led initiatives, leadership and dialogue and power sharing between the local/regional authorities and communities aiming for better understanding of the potential of UBH. The successes and/or failures of the five cases emphasise the importance of knowledge and experience in participatory approaches. Success was verified, when effectiveness and democratic principles were combined in the planning process, and local history is integrated with citizen science, co-creation and placemaking. The analysed approaches stimulate a new hybrid layer for activating UBH, provide mechanisms of mediation between people and heritage, and contribute to cultural and social dimensions of sustainability. This is a highly challenging endeavour, as it seeks to support and advance a sound understanding of UBH as a sustainable resource, backed by strategic stakeholder dialogue and contextual knowledge. Such effort requires a dynamic understanding of UBH values, knowledge, abilities and skills, towards creating more effective coalitions of “actors” within localities, by developing structures, which encourage long term collaborative relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Article
Creating Tourism Destinations of Underground Built Heritage—The Cases of Salt Mines in Poland, Portugal, and Romania
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179676 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
Salt mines, a significant category of local, regional, national, and/or European underground heritage, are becoming attractive tourism destinations. This paper examines three cases of salt mining in different European countries, namely Wieliczka in Poland, Campina de Cima in Portugal, and Turda in Romania. [...] Read more.
Salt mines, a significant category of local, regional, national, and/or European underground heritage, are becoming attractive tourism destinations. This paper examines three cases of salt mining in different European countries, namely Wieliczka in Poland, Campina de Cima in Portugal, and Turda in Romania. They are analyzed in the context of history, typical attributes of their attractiveness, and new uses after the salt extraction was or is going to be stopped, in order to detect their unique values as important assets for both Underground Built Heritage (UBH) and Salt Heritage Tourism (SHT). The results of their comparison show that despite a positive impact related to their protection as cultural and industrial heritage, there are also some negative aspects related to increasing costs of their maintenance and adaptation of salt mines to new functions and to meet the tourism needs. By putting in place measures to enhance the awareness of their values and for activating the local community, the three mines are showcases for the economic outputs for their sites and regions, as well as for increasing knowledge regarding UBH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)

Review

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Review
Underground Environments, Worldviews, and Sustainable Stewardship
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212837 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
This paper examines an aspect of a value-based approach to underground built heritage (UBH). A key tool for the manager of any built heritage today is the mapping of its manifold values for different audiences, to inform their management strategy. This paper first [...] Read more.
This paper examines an aspect of a value-based approach to underground built heritage (UBH). A key tool for the manager of any built heritage today is the mapping of its manifold values for different audiences, to inform their management strategy. This paper first reviews an important paradigm shift that has occurred in the humanities and in cultural heritage management, leading to the recognition of the centrality of the worldviews and lived experience of the different members that make up communities. Drawing on a selection of examples from the literature, it then demonstrates how many UBH sites across a wide spectrum of cultures acquired cosmological and cultic value and significance in a way that is qualitatively different to most built heritage sites above ground. The spectrum of challenges that this poses to the UBH site manager is then outlined by reviewing literature on a selection of UBH examples, from prehistoric archaeological sites to living religious sites. Some key guiding principles are proposed for the management of these different scenarios. Culturally sensitive management that respects the existing value systems of local communities is indispensable wherever such communities are present. Decision-makers need to be keenly aware of these value systems and need to recognize, empower, and complement existing traditional systems of stewardship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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Review
Where Does Sustainability Stand in Underground Tourism? A Literature Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12745; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212745 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Underground sites have become an attractive tourist destination for an increasing number of visitors. This flow of visitors has made sustainability a major issue, that is, the way in which tourism development ensures economic benefits for host communities and respects local identity without [...] Read more.
Underground sites have become an attractive tourist destination for an increasing number of visitors. This flow of visitors has made sustainability a major issue, that is, the way in which tourism development ensures economic benefits for host communities and respects local identity without compromising the environmental resources. Many studies have explored sustainable tourism in the Underground Built Heritage (UBH), but privilege the analysis of a single perspective, that is, economic sustainability, e.g., potentialities of cultural routes, or environmental sustainability, such as the impact of visitors on the cave climate. However, some attention has been paid to the social implications of tourism in the UBH, that is, the impacts of tourism development on improving the quality of life of the local community and the enhancement of their sense of community while respecting cultural authenticity. Our aim is to reconcile these perspectives and obtain, through a semi-systematic review, a clear picture of the sustainability of tourism in UBH sites. The aggregation of existing knowledge around the three pillars of sustainability has highlighted the importance of community involvement and collaboration among UBH stakeholders to ensure a balance between the protection and valorisation of UBH, which can also be achieved through networking strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Going Underground. Making Heritage Sustainable)
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