Through the drop-down menu above, you will find material gathered on case studies pertaining to cultural tourism sites, some new, some old, all historic, and all relevant to the questions of whether and how such sites can become sustainable and revitalize their communities in the process. This is the beginning of a long-term project, intended to organize and present thoughts and information, in various media, on the relationships between the curation of culture and community development. As such, the current states of these case studies are works in progress, and will grow in length and number over time.
This blog will initially focus on monumental sites, with the first two cases being the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, on the modern side, and Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on the historic heritage side. Additionally, I will begin gathering information on other examples of contemporary and historic architecture that have become involved in these processes, as well as news about less monumental historic sites that can be similarly critical to the future of their communities.
At first, it may seem odd to juxtapose recently constructed sites with much older ones, given that some of the processes involved are certainly distinct when dealing with one type versus the other. However, visitors often place similar values on the monumentality of such physical spaces and of the narratives of significance that come with sites both new and old, particularly when those sites are curated and marketed as cultural destinations. The stories people tell about the importance of these locations may differ in chronology, but the process of making these sites into destinations involves similar initial mechanisms and many common effects on the communities surrounding the destinations. As a result, this project seeks to pull together those things such sites can each show about the effects of creating cultural destinations on the revitalization and sustainability of their respective communities.