The heritage management model: a sustainable driver of cultural resources.
In Chile, practices related to cultural heritage have historically focused on conservation issues, often leaving aside administrative management, an approach that, from my point of view, is essential to ensure the sustainability of heritage assets as cultural resources and drivers for development.
One of the instruments that i think it´s been key to highlighting this management it´s the “Methodological Guide for the elaboration of management models of cultural heritage estates”, developed by the Undersecretariat for Regional Development (SUBDERE) within the Program “Heritage Values Program”(PVP). This document has been implemented since 2010 as part of this public policy, installing recognized management models in Chile.
In this article I will review the main objectives, strategies and results that have been developed in the country after 10 years of the implementation of this instrument.
1. Sustainable heritage management.
Despite how evident it may seem to propose management strategies for recovered heritage properties, 10 years ago in Chile there were no models to guide their sustainable management. Multiple abandoned heritage assets are an example of this reality, even after obtaining financing for their recovery.
This guide, which was created with the objective of defining and implementing management mechanisms for the properties recovered by the PVP Program and evaluating their long-term management, has been a key tool for formulators and administrators, as it helps to design management strategies from the start of the project, proposing a methodology that identifies paths, resources, activities, actors and models of dissemination that ensure their life over time (Cabezas, 2010).
This instrument seems to me an answer to the lack of heritage management practices which had as a consequence the weakening of activation and conservation of cultural resources, generating huge losses in national investment.
2. Implementing the strategy.
Another interesting thing about this guide was its implementation strategy. Although it was created as a manual, the PVP program established it as a mandatory step for any project that seeks to obtain financing resources for heritage works.
In this way, the design of management models under their guidance was installed as a requirement in projects, identifying their projection from the beginning and establishing procedures that would allow to verify the operation of the management mechanisms (Regional, Ministry of Development, 2014).
Although there are those who defend that public estate should take over these cultural administrations, on the contrary, I emphasize what this document promotes; mixed management models, incorporating governance by all sectors of society (Rojas, 2008), which include in their management units and alliances with public and private actors, citizens and academics.
After 10 years of implementation, this guide installed successful models, which are measured every 5 years, many of them highly recognized, characterized by their transversality and sustainability.
Although the approval of management models can take around 1 year, lengthening the start of projects, including this time at the beginning becomes a long-term investment of time and money (as the case of Mapping in Huanchaca Museum, which did not materialize because the Foundation did not draft the document in all these years).
In my opinion, this instrument has reinforced the main objective of the PVP program, promoting heritage as a development resource, bringing it closer to people and installing management models that respond to demand and promote cultural interest of the society.
- Cabezas, C. (2010). Methodological guide for the elaboration of cultural heritage management models property. Undersecretary of Regional and Administrative Development, Heritage Values Program.
- Rojas, E. (2008). ASSET VALUE ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM. Santiago: INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK.
- Ministry of Regional Development. (2014). PUTTING IN THE VALUE OF THE HERITAGE. Santiago: SUBDERE Press.