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Toward an Ecology of Cultural Heritage
Change Over Time
  • Elizabeth Brabec, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Elizabeth S. Chilton, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Publication Date
Around the globe, the impacts of climate change are increasing the risk of catastrophic events and the resulting loss of human life and communities. Until now, responses to these events and planning for future occurrences have focused on ecological and social impacts, to the almost total exclusion of the impacts on heritage. Cultural heritage includes archaeological sites, historic buildings, and artifacts, but—more importantly—it also includes the meanings, values, and contemporary social behavior associated with these tangible forms of heritage. Thus, place attachment, sense of place, and associated forms of intangible heritage are major societal factors that must be integrated into climate change adaptation and risk management models. Communities, towns, and governments typically disassociate cultural/historical resources from natural resources in issues of planning and development. A transdisciplinary approach to cultural heritage is necessary in times of risk. There is critical need for this approach, since climate change will result in accelerated changes for human communities—from dislocation to a change in the physical manifestations of place. In this paper, we explore approaches to disaster, adaptation, and resilience through the lens of cultural heritage using two case studies: the Gullah Communities of South Carolina and the diverse communities of Eleuthera, Bahamas.

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266-285, 307
Citation Information
Elizabeth Brabec and Elizabeth S. Chilton. "Toward an Ecology of Cultural Heritage" Change Over Time Vol. 5 Iss. 2 (2015)
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