The perception and social role of Heritage Buildings in modern society
Heritage Buildings are (more or less) integrated to their physical and social surroundings. The WG 4 is investigating its social aspects in order to be able to offer a range of possibilities for improvement of the social aspects of HB’s integrations to their social environment and interconnection between a specific HB and its users, stakeholders and general public.
The first steps in the process are the autopsy of the problem, or the state of the facts, in general, but mostly, directly connected to one specific HB and its immediate surroundings.
In order to complete the investigation, within the COST TD1406 Action a sociological research using the technique of a survey on an at hand sample was organized to bring more knowledge on the fact how HBs are perceived and treated in different countries and between different layers of population. The starting point of the research was the idea to interview the three major layers of respondents:
(1) Stakeholders or respondents who make the decisions and are usually professionals with knowledge on the HBs (for this group a special questionnaire No. 1 was developed).
(2) Owners or users of the HBs who live in them (HB houses) and who are facing many daily and long term problems how to preserve their HB. (for this group a special questionnaire No. 2 was developed).
(3) Finally, the third group of respondents was assembled from the „general public“ (for this group a special questionnaire No. 3. was developed) or the respondents who came to visit and see certain HB but who are in many cases also actor with expert knowledge.
The survey of all groups of respondents was organized on the basis „person to person“ via Internet (e-mails). The questionnaires were created using Google questionnaire forms which have proven to be easy to adjust to the specific needs of various groups of respondents and easy to distribute. The original forms where created in English, whilst in some cases it was needed to translate them in order to gather a wider sample of local population. For the COST Action the following sites were chosen: Château de Germolles (France), Temple cathedral of Pozzuoli (Naples, Italy), Baroničina hiša (Maribor, Slovenia), Monastery of Santa Maria la Real (Palencia, Spain), Lamot brewery (Malines, Belgium), Tvrđa (Osijek, Croatia). All the answers are stored in an online database which only the administrators have access to.
Furthermore, the developed three questionnaires can be upgraded in other researches but in this edition they can be used as a „blueprint“ for this kind of fieldwork researches in different settings. The results of the case study will enable producing valuable recommendations in future dealing with integration of HB’s in the society.