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From an Ancient Road to a Cultural Route

Elifnaz Durusoy

Chapter 2: Cultural route concepts, their planning and management principles

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  • 4 Inspired by the “Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments”, which was the first int (...)

1Heritage is presently an expanding notion, including within its content diverse cultural, historical, architectural, archaeological, local, natural and geological values. Although in the past the meaning of heritage was restricted to a particular work of art or a singular historical monument, in the course of time, groups of buildings, architectural assets, urban and rural areas, archaeological remains, historic sites, cultural landscapes, ancient gardens, vernacu­lar heritage and intangible values have also been added into the frame of the concept. Therefore, the meaning of the concept has been broadened and consequently, the value that is given to the concept of heritage has increased since the second half of the twentieth century4.

2The category of cultural routes is also evolv­ing under the expanding frame of heritage, broadening its scope in many countries. This recently developing category is usually regard­ed as an evidence and base of interactive, dynamic and continually evolving process of intercultural relationships. Therefore, it can be said that the concept of cultural routes reflects different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles from different periods of time.

“The consideration of cultural routes as a new concept or category does not conflict nor overlap with other categories or types of cultural properties - monuments, cities, cultural landscapes, individual heritage, etc. - that may exist within the orbit of a given Cultural Route. It simply includes them within a joint system which enhances their significance.” (ICOMOS, 2008).

3As also stated in the ICOMOS Charter on Cultural Routes, cultural routes as continuous and shared systems synthesize diverse herit­age elements and/or sub-sites through cultural landscapes together with the cultural, histori­cal, symbolic, functional and economic values as intangibles by linking and integrating them in an interdisciplinary and mutual framework. Although the meanings and constituents of cul­tural routes have not yet been properly defined, there are several developing viewpoints on the subject in both national and international cir­cles and literature; numerous meetings, organi­zations and conferences have been arranged and many studies were carried out by research­ers from different fields in order to discuss and clarify the term.

2.1 Background of the concept

4The concept of cultural routes, although not dubbed as such from the beginning, has been discussed since 1960s especially with the help of the collaborative efforts of ICOMOS, UNESCO and the Council of Europe in the forms of reports that attract attention to collec­tive awareness about the most important cul­tural sites of Europe and their incorporation in the culture of leisure through cultural journeys.

51980s and 1990s gave rise to new approach­es regarding the issue. Not only various recom­mendations, resolutions and programs; but also different meetings and organizations on the concept of cultural routes were issued within this time period.

6Consequently, since 2010, a series of vol­untary activities especially individual and/or group walks, projects, workshops and confer­ences together with their related web-sites have been realized on the concept both in national and international platforms (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Some of the cultural routes of Turkey that are presented in the website named “Culture Routes in Turkey-Long Distance Hiking Trails for All”

Figure 4: Some of the cultural routes of Turkey that are presented in the website named “Culture Routes in Turkey-Long Distance Hiking Trails for All”

2.2 Definitions and scope of cultural routes

7Since the value that is given to the concept of cultural routes has increased within recent years, in order to establish frameworks for guiding decision making processes, a num­ber of different definitions, descriptions and approaches regarding the subject have occurred in the national and international arena and in literature.

8The first globally valid definition of cultural routes, discussed under the name of heritage routes, came into being in 1994 with the docu­ment published after the “Routes as a Part of Our Cultural Heritage” meeting of UNESCO and ICOMOS (Karataş 2011: 13). According to the document;

“A heritage route is composed of tangible elements of which the cultural significance comes from exchanges and a multi-dimen­sional dialogue across countries or regions, and that illustrate the interaction of move­ment, along the route, in space and time.”

9This definition, which is accepted as the basis of further definitions and studies on the subject of cultural routes, also identified the main features of the concept in several articles. According to these articles; cultural routes that are multi-dimensional with different develop­ing facets added to their main purpose should be based on the “dynamics of movement” and the “idea of exchanges” with the continuity in space and time. This definition of the con­cept refers to a full picture in which the route has a value exceeding the total value of the components making it up and through which it achieves its cultural importance as well as underlines exchange and dialogue between countries or districts. According to all these variables discussed, UNESCO and ICOMOS agreed that in addition to the composition created with physical elements; dynamism in the forms of movement, idea of exchange and interchange between regions, continuity in space and time as well as wholeness and multi- faceted structure are the fundamental features shaping the concept of cultural routes.

10In 2001, in the “Intangible Heritage and Cultural Routes in a Universal Context” which is one of the reports of ICCR, the concept of cul­tural routes was defined as,

“...a set of values whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts and through which it gains its meaning...”.

11In addition, ICCR shaped the definition as high­lighting the faint relation between a number of tangible elements and their intangible qualities by saying;

“...Identification of the cultural itinerary is based on an array of important points and tangible elements that attest to the sig­nificance of the itinerary itself. To recognize that a cultural itinerary or route as such necessarily includes a number of material elements and objects linked to other values of an intangible nature by the connecting thread of a civilizing process of decisive importance at a given time in history for a particular society or group.”

12In short, the main motive of ICCR in this definition is to express the wholeness of cul­tural routes linking tangible elements to their intangible values by considering the signifi­cances of routes at a definite time in history for a particular group of people. Following this description, in the “ICCR Meeting of Experts” in Madrid in May 2003, the concept of cultural routes was defined as,

“A land, water, mixed or other type of route, which is physically determined and charac­terized by having its own specific and his­toric dynamics and functionality, showing interactive movements of people as well as multi-dimensional, continuous and recipro­cal exchanges of goods, ideas, knowledge and values within or between countries and regions over significant periods of time, and thereby generating a cross-fertilization of the cultures in space and time, which is reflected both in its tangible and intangible heritage.”

13This definition, which hosts many dif­ferent inputs of cultural routes within its structure such as geography, location, com­ponents, qualities and characteristics, mainly concentrates on the interaction between these constituents to form a whole. Accordingly, when compared to the definition disseminated by the document of “Routes as a Part of our Cultural Heritage” in 1994, two descriptions of ICCR show that, unlike a landscape - that is static in nature - a cultural route whose whole exceeds the total value of the components mak­ing it up must reflect a vibrant character with the help of many different inputs within its structure.

14In 2008, in the light of its previous defi­nitions, ICCR widened the meaning of the concept of cultural routes in the “ICOMOS Charter on Cultural Routes” and defined it once again within a framework of different criteria - context, content, cross-cultural significance, dynamic character and setting - as follows,

“Any route of communication, be it land, water, or some other type, which is physi­cally delimited and is also characterized by having its own specific dynamic and historic functionality which must arise from and reflect interactive movements of people as well as multi-dimensional, continuous, and reciprocal exchanges of goods, ideas, knowledge and values between peoples, countries, regions or continents over signifi­cant periods of time, have thereby promoted a cross-fertilization of the affected cultures in space and time, as reflected both in their tangible and intangible heritage and have integrated into a dynamic system the historic relations and cultural properties associated with its existence.”

15According to this comprehensive and spe­cialized definition of cultural routes stated by ICCR in 2008; cultural routes must express social, political and again dynamic cultur­al processes together with heritage elements and cultural traditions. Further, they must be affected by different people, cultures and/or historical events. In other words, they must be the living witnesses of the earlier periods of time.

16In 2007, the Council of Europe explained the term cultural route as “an itinerary or a series of itineraries, based on a cultural concept or phenomenon of transnational importance and significance for common European val­ues”. Three years later, the Council of Europe, in its “Cultural Routes Program”, expanded the meaning of the concept to

“a cultural, educa­tional heritage and tourism co-operation pro­ject aiming at the promotion and development of an itinerary or a series of itineraries based on a historic route, a cultural concept, figure or phenomenon with a transnational importance and significance for the understanding and respect of common European values”.

17According to this recent definition pub­lished in 2010, a cultural route must be concen­trated on a European theme which represents the values of Europe, must follow an ancient route or a newly created touristic path, must give rise to long-term multifaceted coopera­tion projects in priority areas - especially for scientific research, heritage conservation and enhancement, cultural and educational con­tacts among young Europeans, contemporary cultural and artistic practices, cultural tourism and sustainable development. Therefore, it must be managed by organized networks.

18Parallel to all these descriptions of the Council of Europe explained above, there appeared a change in the concept of cultural routes related to the time limitation of the subject together with the development and pro­motion of itineraries with their representation issues. In other words, instead of an artifact used in history, the concept of cultural routes began to be taken as a field representing the European heritage and contributing to regional and local development after the definition proposed in 2010 by the “European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR)”. In addition, dif­ferent from the other international institutes, EICR mainly supported the notion that

“a cul­tural route which is an itinerary or a series of itineraries must come into being with a theme which should give rise to long-term projects of research and sustainable development and that it must represent the common European herit­age, figure and/or phenomenon with a transna­tional importance and significance”.

19Subsequently, it can be said that almost all definitions of cultural routes in the internation­al platform emphasize variable elements of tan­gible composition together with diverse values of their intangible natures such as dynamism in the forms of movement, the idea of exchange and dialogue between regions, continuity in space and time, wholeness and multi-dimen­sional structure, as the most essential aspects. However; different from ICOMOS-UNESCO that describes the indispensable aspects of cultural routes as their use in history, own dynamics and the mobility of the itinerary; the authorized committee of Council of Europe notes that a cultural route may either estab­lished along a historic line or a newly created trail for the purposes of tourism.

20In addition to these definitions stated in doc­uments and charters by institutions; researchers and scholars also brought their own reflections regarding the concept of cultural routes. To the extent that according to Maria Rosa Suarze- Inclan (2004: 1) cultural routes as unique trails formed or used by human beings intentionally for a certain and/or well defined purpose are unique creations of cultural dynamics gener­ated through historic ways of interaction. This expression of Suarze-Inclan mainly implies that cultural routes which are the creations of cultural dynamics must be created or used by human beings in a period of time in history as supportable traces of their existence.

21Ron van Oers (2010: 62) defined the term as a series of culturally and historically tangible and intangible elements that are linked by a physical or substantial asset such as a road or route that may or may not still exist in a period of time. Without forgetting its unique value, van Oers mainly stated that a cultural route which ties a series of culturally and historically important elements within its structure can be a physical or a perceived product. In other words, according to van Oers, a cultural route can either be a path that is existed in history or a path that is created in recent times. Similar to the difference between the definitions of ICOMOS-UNESCO and Council of Europe, van Oers’ definition differs from Rosa’s, who stated that a cultural route must show a trace from the past.

22Similarly, Claude Moulin and Priscilla Boniface (2001: 237-248) defined the concept of cultural routes and networks as important tools for supporting heritage for the direct aims of conservation, cultural preservation, tourism as well as for socio-economic development. Therefore, according to Moulin and Boniface, the concept of cultural routes is viewed as one of the most crucial sources of conserva­tion, preservation, tourism and socio-economic development.

23Different from the others, Martorell Carreno Alberto (2008: 1-4) defined cultural routes assimilating by two different notions as con­nection and interrelation. According to him, the concept of cultural routes that includes var­ious assets in its fabric was created in order to provide connections between different regions in different geographical zones and realize interrelationships between different people.

24Finally, in 2011, Esra Karataş defined the concept of cultural routes in a broader perspec­tive (Karataş, 2011: 15);

“A regional, national or continental scaled transportation corridor, whether created today artificially and intended for promo­tion of tourism, preservation and devel­opment, or used in a period of history and reused today, both have cultural and/ or natural heritage elements along, which gains its significance with presence of this heritage.”

25Hence; when all the definitions from the origin to the present day of the concept of cul­tural routes are examined; “rich and diverse components”, “multi-dimensional structure”, “evolving processes of shared cultures”, “usage in history”, “wholeness” and “meaning” up can be specified as the key aspects that identify the structure of cultural routes.

26In that sense, it can be said that the concept of cultural routes represents cooperating, active, varying and upgrading processes of communal histories and life as a complete picture by dis­playing the valuable diversity of contributions that characterized communities. Accordingly, in order to comprehend and explain the con­cept clearly, all these inputs must be examined by appropriate methods and tied in a cor­rect hierarchy through constructing a holistic perspective.

2.3 Planning and management of cultural routes

27Planning, in a general manner, can be accept­ed as a systematic action, choice and decision making process to be taken to realize a sequence of specified goals effectively within a complete basis by considering all the existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, policies, facilities and challenged limiters. It was developed within numerous fields of research and divided into different branches and stages. Therefore, planning that contains different dimensions and perspectives within its configuration is an ever-evolving, progres­sive and complementary topic thanks to the different sets of ideas and subjects (Hall, 2002: 214).

28In time, the concept of planning has started to be characterized by many different speciali­zations and disciplines working in separation of one another thanks to its multi-dimensional nature. Based on this realization, there has been a push in the planning practice towards conser­vation of cultural heritage assets with the idea of the thorough managing of resources since 1940s. Therefore, in order to provide improved instruments to direct actions regarding a sus­tainable improvement, this tendency for the discipline of conservation was achieved with the assistance of the approach of “integrated planning”.

29Different from the planning itself, integrated planning which was started to develop in 1970s by giving importance to the elements of ration­ality and comprehensiveness of conservation links visions, priorities, people and physical organizations in a system of evaluation, deci­sion-making and action. It takes into account not only the physical and aesthetical qualities of the environment, but also social, cultural and economic life of the cities. In a more detailed manner, principles of planning and policies of conservation started to be combined with the help of integrated planning approach which takes into account not only the physical assets that are going to be planned but also several other variables such as comprehensive protec­tion policies, legislation, economy, protection, maintenance, presentation, information, social interrelations, professional qualifications and international cooperation together with the active participation of the general public.

30Management planning can also be defined as another sub-heading that was expanded as an indispensable part of the concepts of con­servation planning and integrated planning for areas of special quality (Çakır, 2012: 355). It can be said that the concept of management planning that has started to develop in the 1990s with the management science point of view can be described as a mean to conserve the unique qualities of areas which have special characteristics. As stated in the master thesis of Eda Ünver (2006), management planning con­cept for the areas which have special features primarily requires a cross-coordination that maintains durable development on different scales as well as the formation of the steps and tools for the compounded process of manage­ment in order to protect areas. Therefore, in order to achieve desired and required ends, management plans require not only broad scale information of gathering, examination of differ­ent alternatives and prominence on the future implications of present decisions; but also reasons for preservation, condition and prereq­uisite of care, the objectives of maintenance, boundaries, functions and densities (Çakır, 2012: 356).

31Similar to the case of planning, the subject of management planning has also been devel­oped within numerous fields of research, divid­ed into different areas and discussed through various regulations, charters and guidelines created by the institutions and researchers in the course of time. It can be said that several different approaches and methods have devel­oped by different international and national organizations, institutes, professional organi­zations and disciplines in different countries at different time periods for the planning and management of cultural heritage. In addition to these meetings in international stages, there are also several studies conducted by professionals, researchers and authors regarding the subject of planning and management of cultural heritage assets.

32One of the branches of conservation plan­ning and conservation management approach that was developed within recent decades is cultural route planning and management. Similar to the other branches of the concept, planning for cultural routes also involves a number of necessary stages and various key partners (Karataş, 2011: 23-27). However, since all cultural routes should “carry messages from the past, satisfy the expectations of the present day and become a bridge for the future”, it is widely agreed that cultural route planning is a more complex concept than planning for other branches (Güçer, 2004: 1-4).

33Unlike various definitions and classifica­tions that exist for cultural routes, there is not a clear framework to date in the literature for cultural route planning; there is not even a general management approach for them. There are only a few guidelines that have been prepared by different international organiza­tions and researchers in order to direct these processes. According to these analyzed works which areCharter for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage prepared by ICOMOS, “Guidelines for the Management of World Cultural Heritage Sites” prepared by ICOMOS, “Burra Charter” prepared by ICOMOS, “Australian Natural Heritage Charter for Conservation of Places Center, 2002 of Natural Heritage Significance” prepared by ICOMOS, “Cultural Heritage Management Report” prepared by Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council, “Conservation Principles-Policies and Guidance” prepared by English Heritage, “Management Planning Model of Protected Areas” prepared by New South Wales Government, “Archaeological Resource Management in the UK” prepared by Baker and Shepherd, “Sustainability of Cultural Heritage Management: Keklik Street and Its Surrounding Conservation and Development Project” pre­pared by Eda Ünver, “Pamplona Meeting” organized by ICOMOS, “International Charter on Cultural Routes” prepared by ICOMOS, “Cultural Route and Heritage Management Challenge: The Klondike Gold Rush: A Case Study” prepared by Mason and “The Role of Cultural Route Planning in Cultural Heritage Conservation: The Case of Central Lycia” pre­pared by Esra Karataş; the basic phases that are needed for cultural route planning can be spec­ified as “survey” by gathering and recording the relevant information, “evaluation” of the gath­ered and recorded information, “determination of decisions” together with the established significance and finally “control and monitor”.

Figure 5: Planning and management proposal for cultural routes

Figure 5: Planning and management proposal for cultural routes

34Depending on these guidelines and stand­ards developed; the stages of understanding the place, assessing the place and finally mak­ing decisions for the future of the place can be determined as the main phases for the planning and management of cultural routes. In this context, the process should start with compre­hending the significance of the place studied as an initial survey and study in a holistic per­spective, continued with the assessment of the gathered information. Thereby, evolution of the fabric and the current situation of the region which hosts the ancient road analyzed can be identified in a holistic perspective (Figure 5). Finally, in order to transform these roads into cultural routes, proposals should be deter­mined and sustained by suitable decisions and principles. As a supporting input of the phase of decisions; objectives, a general theme and a statement of significance should be identified. Implementation strategies and their priority orders should also be maintained with a peri­odical controlling and reviewing mechanism together with a collaboration of key interest groups and partners in order to reach an effec­tive planning and management process.

35Accordingly, the process of cultural route planning and management should start with an understanding that constitutes analyses and documentation studies of the route and the region that it is located. Afterwards, it contin­ues with assessment of the present context of the region by giving reference to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats of the region studied. Finally making decisions for the future of the place by proposing objec­tives, significance of place, statement of signifi­cance, theme of the project, general principles, preliminary decisions and general scenarios should clearly be identified.

2.3.1 Understanding the Place

36Since it provides information for forthcom­ing processes, a self-sustaining and holistic understanding stage is vital for the planning and management process of cultural routes. Such a stage means comprehending all val­ues concerning the past and present context of the region: the developmental sequence of the place and its relationship to the surviving fabric, the historical content of the place with particular reference to the ways in which its fabric has been influenced by historical servic­es or has itself influenced the course of history, the cultural influences which have affected the form and fabric of the place, the rarity of the place and/or its parts, the functions of the place and/or its parts, the relationship of the place and its parts with its setting, the exist­ence and nature of lost or destroyed uses, the significance of the place to key interest groups and partners who use or have used it, the sci­entific or research opportunity of the place, the relationship of the place to other places and the data gathered both from the site as a whole and from its individual sections such as landscapes, settlements and/or structures (Burra Charter, 1999).

37In the “ICOMOS Charter on Cultural Routes”, understanding the historic environment including the values and significance that it contains, threats that it encounters, available opportunities and social, economic, political and historical influences that it owns is stated as the first basic step for the process of planning and management. Accordingly, the primary step of cultural route planning should also be the comprehension of the region and the roads, routes or axes that are located within these regions by respecting all their components as a total system in accordance with specific captions designated for cultural routes.

38In this vein, the equivalent weighted facets that should be analyzed regarding the complete understanding of cultural routes are identified as natural, man-made, temporal, social and cultural, functional, visual and aesthetic, eco­nomic, administrative and meaning and spir­itual contexts.

39Further, since the collection and order of information coming from the stage of under­standing the place starts with the inventory of values which constitute the basis of almost all conservation projects, documentation phase of any planning and management process should also be considered as an indispensable integral section of comprehending. Therefore, docu­mentation should also be regarded as one of the most important parts of the planning and management of cultural routes.

“ of the principal actions to be taken is to guarantee that the resource is system­atically recorded and documented before, during and after any intervention. Once the intervention has taken place, what was removed or altered is lost; forever if not properly documented...” (Feilden and Jokilehto, 1992: 26).

40In general, documentation provides tangible evidence from the past and assists in recog­nizing the present situation of the case study region examined. Therefore, it can easily be said that a proper documentation directs the following stages of planning and management in a constructive way. As also quoted from Feilden and Jokilehto in the “Guidelines for the Management of World Cultural Heritage Sites of ICOMOS”-1992, in order to prepare a base for the required analysis of inputs, to increase the interest and awareness of people, to increase the participation of human beings in the preservation and maintenance of the heritage, to enable informed management and control of building and construction works and finally to safeguard heritage; the out­comes coming from the stage of comprehension should be documented carefully before, during and after intervention. This kind of a documen­tation study should be made with the help of a broad and comprehensive survey and all of the entries recorded should be preserved in pro­tected archives, carefully (ICOMOS, 1996 and Burra Charter, 1999). In addition, the copies of these documentations should be made accessi­ble to public in suitable forms. Otherwise, the phase of documentation ends with the decrease and even the loss of material.

41There are a number of information sources and methods for the documentation of infor­mation depending on the general character­istics, the reasons and purposes of record, the context and the funding or other avail­able resources (ICOMOS, 1996). Considering all these variables into account, methods of documentation can be divided into two as: archival documentation and field documenta­tion. Archival documentation can generally be made up with the help of historical documen­tary sources, visual sources and/or oral sources which include written documents, historical data, public documents - as military, ethno­graphic, cemetery, tax and/or local records, newspapers, local historians’ records and/ or sayings, inscriptions of ceremonial and/or cultural activities, periodic publications from libraries, museums, city directories, historical atlases, published diaries, aerial photographs, manuscript, post card collections, historical photos, paintings, gravures, graphic records and/or other visual documents such as topo­graphic, plot, parcel, infrastructure maps and visual-auditory records such as films and/or documentaries. Field sources can usually be categorized as physical survey sources and/or in-site oral sources of measuring and drawings such as schemes, sketches, diagrams, plans, sections, elevations, photographs and inter­views and/or conversations with local resi­dents, stakeholders, visitors and tourists, oral histories, surveys with videotapes, participa­tory workshops and/or questionnaires.

Equivalent weighted contexts of cultural routes
Natural context of cultural routes can be described with the help of the variables: unique and unspoiled natural content; cli­matic characteristics; interaction with land­scape, ecology, vegetation and biodiversity; harmony with topography and air; status of conservation and rarity, diversity, variety and vividness of natural attributes and ele­ments such as mountains, valleys, basins, ridges, rivers, lakes, seas as well as planned and/or unplanned green areas and cultural landscapes such as parks, forests, agricultural lands, greenhouse areas, vineyards, parks, pot­ted flowers, green roofs, individual trees such as monumental, memorial natural elements, groups of trees, soil, vegetation, climate with or without their status of conservation.
Man-made context relates with the term spatial configuration. In a more detailed man­ner, the location of the route in general geography; spatial configuration and setting; man-made components - the route itself, core, buffer zone and substantive elements and itineraries such as structures, individual man-made components, findings, remains, edifices, buildings and/or traditional and/ or modern settlements either urban or rural patterns and basic characteristics such as form, width, length, continuity, grade, surface qualities, pavement features, transportation mode - motorized and/or non-motorized, traf­fic control devices, presentation and orienta­tion elements, parking facilities, services and other pathway facilities appear as the most noticeable and operative variables regarding the understanding of the man-made context of cultural routes.
The development sequence of the place and its relationship to the surviving fabric; existence in a period of history and category of usage - popular usage such as cultural exchanges, pilgrimages, journeys and/or pop­ulation movements or strategic usage such as discoveries and/or invasions together with their living evidences should be analyzed to comprehend the temporal context of cultural routes.
Social and cultural context of cultural routes studied under the headings: social diversity and cultural interaction; cross cultural aspects and effects such as links, exchanges and mobility between different cultural groups; capacity to bring different people together; sense of identity and com­munity and past and/or present reciprocal and spiritual practices/cultural influences, setting’s intangible elements giving a richer and more complete meaning to the site as a whole such as traditions, customs, events, activities, uses, narratives, written documents, festivals, commemorations, rituals, traditional knowledge, skills, representations, values, expressions, textures, arts, colors and odors.
Functional context of cultural routes includes relationship of the place between the region, route and sub-parts of the route in respect of functions; concrete and/or reflected roles, specific purposes and/or themes of routes and their sub-parts: exchange of spir­itual goods or basic necessities for the survival or development of communities and continu­ity and frequency of uses.
As another one,
visual and aesthetic context of cultural routes associated with serial vision; sequence of events; frequency of observing thanks to vista and panorama points and richness and variety of shapes and colors of the elements of setting such as nature, topography, structures, buildings and settlement patterns.
Economic context of cultural routes con­cerns economical values of natural and cul­tural heritage structures, sites and areas; long term impacts of heritage on economic devel­opment and social cohesion of regions; tradi­tional production patterns and local products as crucial economic and financial sources for sustainable conservation and develop­ment; economic activities that creates benefits such as ongoing excavation works and tour­ism capacity and sustainable development of routes as well as their nearby environments and settlements.
Administrative context which is also related to cultural routes in terms of the managerial and organizational issues, can be explained as a set of articles of policy directed preparation and support: including ongoing programs, projects and/or missions; legal decisions and resolutions such as the status of registration of the areas and/or structures; volunteer key interest groups such as multidisciplinary research teams from relevant fields and professions together with local communities, institutions, and traditional practitioners; forums, training and/or edu­cational programs; effective long-term plan­ning, managing and legislative tools, policies, strategies and practices and finally profession managed evaluation, control, monitoring and review.
Finally, different from the previous facets that are related directly with the concept itself,
meaning and spiritual context of cul­tural routes should also be included under the heading of the equivalent weighted facets of the concept.
Since people perceive and feel environ­ments by appending feelings and attachments to them, meaning and spiritual context can be expressed as variants depending on the interaction between thoughts and emotions of human beings and routes.
“It’s a special feel­ing walking an old road. The pilgrim may see no one else behind or ahead and yet be pro­foundly aware of not being alone. Hundreds of thousands of others have passed this way, generation after generation...” (Forest, 2007: 4). In this respect, since ancient roads do not just appear, they should be respected differ­ently from other types of roads and gathering places (Du Boulay, 1995).
With this regard, in order not to turn out to be visitors who are nonresponsive and careless or researchers who leave the site without discovering the significance, mean­ing and spirit behind these kinds of ancient roads should be examined and experienced deeply. According to this; social, cultural and emotional values, feelings, experiences, senses through images, perceptions, repre­sentations, practices of memory and involve­ment; unique meanings and spirits attached to ancient roads as well as communication and participation of the concerned communi­ties are identified as determining variables.

42Documentation as an indispensable step of planning does not depend on one discipline but it should progress by the contributive guid­ance of the specialized people from several different professions. To explicate in depth, documentation should be under the responsi­bility of an interdisciplinary and skilled work­ing team including archaeologists, historians, architects, restorers, architectural historians, urban planners, specialist heritage recorders, conservators and/or other advisors from related disciplines such as civil, structural, chemi­cal, metallurgical and material engineers and/ or professionals from the areas of philosophy, economics and/or tourism depending on the basic features of the region and even the road that is located within the boundaries of the analyzed region.

2.3.2. Assessing the place

“Understanding of Cultural Routes Significance becomes the basic/fundamen­tal principle associated to management of cultural routes. This implies ensuring that all activities related to their research, assessment and social dissemination of knowledge about them are carried out in a coordinated and harmonious manner...” (ICOMOS, 2008: 10).

43Assessment can be defined as the way to look at the present status and condition of the analyzed region with all its components as a whole and to derive the main data coming from it. It is the basis of all decisions that are going to be taken for the future of the analyzed region. Therefore, in its original sense, assessment is usually handled under separate headings as: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a clear manner. On the other hand, an overall assessment should also be conducted for inspecting the most critical strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding the areas and/or elements analyzed.

44As also mentioned in the report prepared by the “International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN”, assessment that positioned at the focus - core - of the general planning and management model in a direct relation with all other phases comprised with examining the elements located within the region and evalu­ating whether these elements have strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or not, by explaining them individually. According to this information given by the “International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN”, the responsibility, for the phase of assess­ment, should belong to all other disciplines and people taking active parts in the previous part of the process - understanding the place. Indeed, in addition to provide guidance for the following steps with the help of research­ers, assessment also helps to increase the consciousness of human beings regarding the analyzed region. Consequently, it strengthens the involvement of communities in the process indirectly. This way, augmentation of public awareness and creation of a common under­standing for the prioritizing of assets can easily be guaranteed.

45According to the above mentioned motives, since it provides a fundamental basis for the development of the decisions for the following processes and future of the place; evaluating roads regarding their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as vulnerable pieces of assessment section is important. In order to make this more understandable and realistic in a comprehensive way, these evaluations should be grounded on the previously determined equivalent weighted facets of cultural routes. In other words; analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of roads for each context - natural, man-made, temporal, social and cultural, functional, visual and aes­thetic, economic, administrative and meaning and spiritual contexts - by giving support with relevant photographs are crucial for the second phase of the planning and management of cul­tural routes - assessment.

2.3.3. Making decisions for the future of the place

46With the help of the establishment of recog­nized assessment criteria as well as a consistent and visible methodology, the phase of assess­ment should continue with the identification of decisions for the future of the place. Within its configuration, identification of decisions for the future of the place includes determination of the objectives; composition of the statement of significance and the theme of the project; identification of the general principles and preliminary decisions; designation of general poli­cies; strategies and projects and finally arrang­ing general scenarios.

47Therefore, as the primal action regarding the identification of decisions for the future of the place, vital objectives that figure the required goals for conserving the significance and identity of the ancient road analyzed in the short and long term should be set transparently. After the step of identification of objectives, a statement of significance should be proposed in a way that it should support the relevant cultural route planning and man­agement project by expressing why the road, route and/or axis is valuable in a clear and concise manner (Burra Charter, 1999). As also mentioned within the scope of English Heritage report, this statement should be an informed and inclusive result of a particular set of data, mainly to inform the management project of a significant place.

48Following to the identification of a state­ment of significance, a project theme related to the suggested statement of significance that outline the main vision of the project should be established for directing and expressing the following processes. The theme should be arranged in a way that it should give refer­ence to the expressed statement of significance and to the historic character and context of the region (Burra Charter, 1999). Accordingly, rather than a series of independent facts, this kind of an integrated thematic structure brings together not only the places and activities but also people under a central idea. It incidentally helps visitors to have a memorable and attract­ing experience. Consequently, as an indispen­sable part of making decisions for the future of the place, identification of the statement of significance that orient projects as main themes should not be omitted for planning and man­agement processes of cultural routes.

49In the light of this specified statement of significance and theme of the project, general principles and preliminary decisions should specifically be identified in order to main­tain cultural resources, retain their values and extend their physical lives, by considering the main conceptual and contextual basis which has been developed regarding the subject of conservation. In a more detailed manner, gener­al principles and preliminary decisions regarding cultural route projects should include rel­evant judgments of upper scale activities and/ or plans, degrees of comprehensive conserva­tion, organization of a multi-dimensional and multi-professional technical and working staff, protection of the effectiveness of conservation works together with their methods, examina­tion of resources and delivery, recognition of security preventions and an ongoing check in order to reach a successful result and detect the changes, results and/or problems with refer­ence to the desired condition of the proposed cultural route.

50Within the scope of these, the main flow of the proposed cultural route project may allow not only conservationist approaches such as protection, maintenance and preservation but also more interventionist works such as enhancement, restoration, regeneration, adap­tation, consolidation, modification, reinstate­ment and/or design of new works related to the specific characteristics of sites (Burra Charter, 1999). Accordingly, it can be said that suitable implementation principles of a conservation project especially the classification of criteria associated with new interventions and/or con­struction works; identification of basic characteristics regarding the materials to be used organization of techniques and actions in order to preserve cultural significance and integrity of the site should also be underlined under heading of general principles and preliminary decisions.

  • 5 As underlined by Silberman (2006); presentation and interpretation are two different concepts in te (...)

51General principles and preliminary deci­sions regarding the issues of presentation and interpretation should also be highlighted in this section5. With this regard, in order to reach a better final cultural route product, a combi­nation of the judgments related with presen­tation and interpretation should be included in the planning of cultural routes. It should be mentioned at this point that there are sev­eral different types of methods to present and interpret a place depending on its basic quali­ties. As underlined in the ICOMOS Charter (2008: 3), these methods also contain a wide range of means both in-situ and ex-situ: instructive lectures, intensive programs, commu­nity activities, performance spaces and visi­tor centers, information plates, interpretive education activities, public services-as works, panels, print and/or electronic publications, on-site and directly related off-site installa­tions, museum-type displays, local histories, academic and non-academic sources, journals, booklets, books and guidebooks and visitor facilities including guided walking tours, inter­net presentations such as websites, multimedia applications and e-libraries. Accordingly, it is important to develop a combination of these methods and activities with the help of clear figures, basic topics and fluid accounts through various contexts. New technologies, popular media and innovative services should also be taken into account within the scope of general principles and preliminary decisions for rai­sing awareness, visibility and recognizability for the proposal.

52On the other hand, participation of key interest groups and partners for whom the road has special meanings or social, spir­itual and other cultural connections with the region should also be emphasized for conser­vation projects. In the light of these inputs, organization of key interest groups and deci­sion-making units, configuration of periodi­cal meetings as well as awareness and active participation of the related NGOs together with the residents who live in the local communities within these regions should also be added as another sub-heading under general principles and preliminary decisions as essential compo­nents. This is crucial for the continuation and revival of place for their sustainable develop­ment and broad understanding of preservation in planning and management processes of cultural routes.

53Keeping these missions in mind, encourag­ing community groups to take active parts in safeguarding their values, organizing events to present different types of traditional arts, publishing about these activities to inform about ongoing projects, inviting members of community to take part in discussions to identify issues and threats concerning traditional arts and arranging educational programs to get feed­back concerning traditional arts appear as one of the main strategies for community involve­ment. In other words, systematic workshops and communication activities about local herit­age such as public talks, newsletter, exhibition and competitions should be provided for long term effective community participation as well as sustainable economic and social develop­ment.

54Further, in order to reach a successful result in a planning and management process of cultural routes and avoid common activities that may cause damage to sites such as rapid development, excess vehicle use, uncontrolled visits, insufficient garbage collection; regu­lar control and review of the effectiveness of physical, social, functional, legal and organiza­tional structure of heritage and re-examination of the appropriateness of decisions should be undertaken as a fundamental section of general principles and preliminary decisions with the help of formal and/or informal audit, perfor­mance measurement, visitor satisfaction sur­veys and/or any other feedback mechanisms. Therefore, a successful planning and manage­ment practice cannot be fully accomplished without the phase of control and review made in a systematic and consistent order by a group of interdisciplinary professionals with appro­priate experience, knowledge or professional qualification.

55Afterwards, general policies should clearly be identified depending on the selected theme of the proposed project and strategies and as a final outcome related projects should be categorized according to the specified policies by taking the previously identified principles and preliminary decisions into account. These proposed projects should be specified together with the information: sequence of events, work­ing schedules, timing of events with an optimal management structure and control measures, under changing or altering circumstances with­in the frameworks of minimum intervention. Therefore, identical to the previous phases, the phase of general policies, projects and strate­gies of cultural routes should also use all the disciplines and areas of experience that con­tribute to the process of cultural route planning and management in its former steps.


4 Inspired by the “Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments”, which was the first inter­national congress that depicted the importance and developed the consciousness regarding the subject of heritage without naming it explicitly, different inter­national and national organizations, institutes, pro­fessional organizations and disciplines in different countries at different time periods prepared several guidelines in the form of international conventions, regional treaties, professional codes, documents, recommendations, guidelines and/or specialized trai­ning activities to produce reference materials for heritage since 1950s.

5 As underlined by Silberman (2006); presentation and interpretation are two different concepts in terms of their content. While interpretation is a term wider than presentation by its relation with collective me­mory and combination of activities that intends to ex­hibit the cultural significance of a place, presentation can be defined as a one-way mode of communication. Although this phase of presentation and interpre­tation is stated as interpretation in the following sections, it should be noted that in order to reach effective and successful outcomes, a combination of both presentation and interpretation principles and strategies should be used in cultural heritage sites.

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 4: Some of the cultural routes of Turkey that are presented in the website named “Culture Routes in Turkey-Long Distance Hiking Trails for All”
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Titre Figure 5: Planning and management proposal for cultural routes
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