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Special Issue "Cultural Heritage and Regional Development Policies"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability of Culture and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. José Cadima Ribeiro

School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, R. da Universidade, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Regional Economics; Tourism Economics; Cultural Tourism; Regional Development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the eighties of the twenty century, theoretical and policy approaches to regional growth and development have tended to emphasize the importance of mobilizing endogenous resources and capabilities of territories to fight backward economic situations or enhancing social wellbeing. No matter if dealing with urban or rural territories, those strategic approaches do make sense as any territory is endowed of some sort of resources, including cultural heritage ones, material and immaterial. Some resources are easy to identify and assess, such as financial and physical assets, others are less visible and difficult to appraise, like human capital or reputation. Of course, resources endowment is not enough to ensure employment and wealth creation as economic activity requires the co-operation and co-ordination of sets of resources and the needed capabilities can be absent.

The way to look to regional development has followed a parallel time path to the increasing of the tourism industry and, mainly, with the role cultural tourism began to play on the world tourists flows. Nowadays, motivations to visit a destination are very diverse and can range from the desire to get an educational experience from a cultural heritage destination to just use some free time. This opened a new door to the development of some territories, namely those which were able to preserve their patrimony and cultural attributes, and of engaging the local community on the tourism development process, as common residents and other local stakeholders are an essential component of the tourist experience and of the sustainability of any tourism strategy relying on heritage and authenticity. The understanding of tourists’ perceptions of a heritage destination and the motivation behind choosing to visit such a site are also essential keys to develop successful marketing strategies and positioning any destination.

This way, to look to the success or the failure of a tourism strategy implies to address not only the issue of territories resources endowment, the adequacy of the regional public policies designed to take profit from the tourist resources available at the destination but also the commitment of the local community on it, as well as the capacity of the destination to supply a product which addresses the potential costumers needs and preferences. Besides, the information on the product supplied as to reach the potential market segment.

Therefore, this Special Issue provides a forum to discuss the potential of cultural heritage as a contributor to regional and local development and the design of regional and local policies aiming to positining the destination at the tourist market, addressing the issue from conceptual approaches to more empirical ones, including case studies. In this regard, successful cases are welcome as well less succeeded ones, as one can also learn from failure.

Prof. Dr. José Cadima Ribeiro
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 1700 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.


  • Regional resources endowment and singularity of the tourism product
  • Cultural heritage and authentic tourist experiences
  • Regional sustainable tourism strategies
  • Residents commitment towards tourism development
  • Cultural heritage and tourists' visit motivations
  • Tourism employment creation and growth of regional economies
  • Regional infrastructures and facilities and tourist potential
  • Natural and cultural heritage preservation and tourist potential
  • Regional policies and local tourism development
  • Case studies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Stepping Out of the Shadows: Legacy of the European Capitals of Culture, Guimarães 2012 and Košice 2013
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051469
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
PDF Full-text (925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) is the most ambitious cultural, collaborative programme in Europe. Up until 2000, ECOC projects were hosted by several national capitals and principal cultural cities in Europe. In the second phase, the programme also began to discover second-tier [...] Read more.
The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) is the most ambitious cultural, collaborative programme in Europe. Up until 2000, ECOC projects were hosted by several national capitals and principal cultural cities in Europe. In the second phase, the programme also began to discover second-tier and less well-known cities hidden in the shadow of the cultural capitals. This paper focuses on assessing different ECOC strategies (traditional versus radical) and the corresponding legacies of two medium-sized cities: Guimarães (ECOC in 2012, Portugal) and Košice (ECOC in 2013, Slovakia). Cultural heritage is identified by the capacity of culture to change development trajectory and to boost the economy of cities. The strategies and legacies of Guimarães and Košice have revealed themselves to be comparatively different, especially due to their differences with respect to UNESCO cultural heritage. While Guimarães partially succeeded in enhancing its position as a tourist attraction and the visibility of its historical cultural heritage, the industrial city of Košice is an example of more radical and dynamic culture-led form of development, overcoming the provincialism of the city. Most importantly, and due to the strengthening pride of the locals, both ECOC cities have stepped out of the shadow of stronger cultural capitals in their countries. This joint research offers the possibility of a first-hand comparison of traditional and radical approaches and an in-depth interpretation of their legacies after a period of five years, explaining the mechanisms of forming different legacies in two types of ECOC cities. The results can help future ECOC cities to set their strategies in relation to their desired cultural and economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage and Regional Development Policies)

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