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Vîlcea, C.; Popescu, L.; Niță, A. Historical Buildings and Monuments as Heritage In Situ. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 01 December 2023).
Vîlcea C, Popescu L, Niță A. Historical Buildings and Monuments as Heritage In Situ. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed December 01, 2023.
Vîlcea, Cristiana, Liliana Popescu, Amalia Niță. "Historical Buildings and Monuments as Heritage In Situ" Encyclopedia, (accessed December 01, 2023).
Vîlcea, C., Popescu, L., & Niță, A.(2023, July 19). Historical Buildings and Monuments as Heritage In Situ. In Encyclopedia.
Vîlcea, Cristiana, et al. "Historical Buildings and Monuments as Heritage In Situ." Encyclopedia. Web. 19 July, 2023.
Historical Buildings and Monuments as Heritage In Situ

The alteration of function as well as the context for part of the historical area of the city center testify to the musealization of the study area. The large number of buildings included on the heritage list outlines the characteristics of a living open-air museum, capitalizing on the heritage in situ. 

emotional GIS built heritage musealization living open-air museum Craiova

1. Introduction

Cities are often conceived as a cultural superstructure undergoing a permanent process of development, displaying temporal layers that hark back several generations to the nineteenth century or even earlier, shedding rings of past cultures [1]. The repositioning of the contemporary urban area through representations of its past has been identified as a defining characteristic of European cities, with urban landscapes becoming sites of memory and representations of identity that are continuously being rewritten in response to social and political change [2]. In the European context, heritage has been directly linked to the conservation of the (imagined) past [3], an important aspect of its power, stemming from trying to relive, re-create, or, more accurately, emulate it [4].
As heritage is regarded as intrinsically specific and local, it can be used as an instrument for the creation and expression of the unique character of settlements [2]. However, dealing appropriately with this valued legacy of the past [5] is not an easy endeavor, with its importance being continuously reevaluated. While, initially, individual buildings, structures, and other artifacts were protected, later on, policies were targeted toward groups of historic buildings, townscapes, and the spaces between buildings, and more recently, policies have focused on the revitalization of the protected historic heritage. Thus, if ‘the preservation policies had largely been concerned with the pastness of the past, the later conservation and revitalization policies were about a future for the past’ [5].
Tourists and day-visitors alike make intensive use of the historic centers of the cities, since these historic city centers are one of the most important elements of the European cultural heritage [6]; this particular cultural heritage ensuring, to a large extent, the quality of their experience [7]. As these ‘new’, ‘post-mass’, ‘increasingly sophisticated’ tourists [8] have flocked to novel and unusual destinations globally, the cities of post-communist Central and Eastern Europe have come up with new products, new experiences, and new destinations for heritage tourism, which is seen as the largest segment of ‘new’ tourism [9]. Not only capital cities, but also regional centers have mobilized heritage and culture to capitalize on a shared architectural cultural heritage with Central and Eastern Europe [9][10][11], through place promotion and marketing.

2. Urban Emotions and Emotional Communities

Emotions have been studied from a multitude of perspectives, starting with psychologists [12] and neuroscientists [13][14][15] up to sociologists or geographers, and later on from interdisciplinary perspectives [16][17]. In terms of affectual and emotional geography, geographers have taken up a variety of positions and have also shifted position over time, the terrain being mapped out expanding continuously as it is woven out of many threads [18]. Nevertheless, for geographers, emotions reside in the nexus of bodies, minds, and places [19]. Cities are seen as sites of emotional norms, emotions having a great role in urban transformations since they are not just the by-product of change [16]. However, even though emotion is an underlying trait of being human, its presence in maps and spatial data is hardly commonplace [19].
Interdisciplinary approaches combining spatial planning, geo-informatics, computer linguistics, and sensor-technology methods have been developed in order to collect data on the emotional perception of space [20][21][22][23][24]. Lately, there has been a surge in researching the emotions of urban dwellers and sensory mapping, exploring the link between the urban environment and psychophysiological arousal responses using biometrics and other kinds of tracking and remote technologies. Considering that different urban spaces influence the emotional experience of individuals, current technologies are able to detect and recognize emotions felt by citizens. By applying bio-sensor technology for peripheral-physiological measurements (sensor-wristband with GPS), experiences in pedestrian precincts (comfortable and uncomfortable), as well as emotional arousal maps, were achieved [25], capturing the location of emotionally relevant places in Lisbon. Kauklauskas [26] developed an Affective System for Researching Emotions in Public Spaces for Urban Planning. Specifically, it gathers and analyzes emotional, affective, and physiological states and the arousal and valence of individuals residing or visiting a particular city by employing a neuro-decision matrix.
However, emotions measured by technical sensors cannot be unambiguously correlated with the type of emotion people experience and the context of that particular emotion [17]. Moreover, most research has aimed at assessing spatial–emotional interactions and has focused on the individual perspective, only a few studies have attempted to aggregately map the emotional patterns of multiple individuals throughout the urban fabric [27][28][29][30]. Using an ambulatory sensing device for collecting physiological measurements, a dedicated smartphone app, and surveys, Shoval [29] explored the subjectively perceived level of arousal of tourists in Jerusalem. With the help of location-triggered surveys at specific areas of interest, participants rated on a seven-point Likert scale their subjectively perceived level of arousal; thus, objective and subjective emotional measures over the city of Jerusalem were mapped. Most importantly, this study confirmed that due to their characteristics, certain sites within the city evoke a consistent and recurring emotional response from a large number of individuals, no matter the age, ethnicity, religion, or gender.

3. Place Attachment Mapping and Emotional GIS

A better understanding of the spatiality, distribution, and actual status of the historical part can be accomplished with the use of Geographic Information Systems. GIS is widely used to analyze and visualize geographical data for various purposes. However, the use of GIS has been limited in representing and analyzing emotions. The integration of emotions in GIS has given rise to a new paradigm called Emotional GIS (EGIS). EGIS has emerged as an important research area that investigates the potential of GIS in representing and analyzing emotions. This new dimension of GIS was explored in the present research in an attempt to visualize the attachment and the emotions that one can experience while enjoying the history of the city in different forms.
Emotions have been recognized as a fundamental component of human experience and are a critical factor in decision-making processes. GIS has traditionally focused on quantitative data analysis, neglecting the subjective and emotional aspects of human experiences. EGIS addresses this gap by providing a framework for integrating emotional responses and experiences into GIS, making spatial data more comprehensive and meaningful.
Emotional Geographic Information Systems represent a relatively new and rapidly evolving area of research at the intersection of geography, psychology, and computer science. The objective of EGIS is to incorporate emotional responses and experiences into GIS to improve the analysis, communication, and understanding of spatial data. This new concept of mapping emotions in a GIS environment combines geographical information systems (GIS) with emotional data, aiming to capture, visualize, and analyze the emotional responses of people to different locations, events, or situations. This technology can be used to understand how people feel about their environment and how their emotions are influenced by different factors, such as weather, noise, traffic, and social interactions [31][32][33][34].
A major challenge of EGIS is how to capture and represent emotions in a GIS context. One approach is to use qualitative methods such as interviews, surveys, and focus groups to elicit emotional responses from individuals. Another approach is to use physiological sensors, such as heart rate monitors, to capture physiological responses associated with different emotional states. These methods have been employed in a variety of studies to assess the emotional responses of individuals to various spatial phenomena such as landscapes, neighborhoods, and urban environments [31][33][35][36][37][38].
The existing research on EGIS can be broadly categorized into two categories: (1) theoretical research and (2) practical applications. Theoretical research focuses on the conceptualization and development of EGIS frameworks, while practical applications focus on the implementation of EGIS in real-world scenarios. The theoretical research on EGIS has been focused on the development of frameworks that integrate emotions in GIS, while the practical applications have been focused on the implementation of EGIS in various domains, such as urban planning, transportation, tourism, and environmental management. In the tourism industry, EGIS can help to develop more personalized and emotionally engaging travel experiences by incorporating information about the emotional responses of tourists to different destinations [36][39][40].
In urban planning and environmental management, EGIS can assist in the design of more livable and emotionally stimulating urban environments by incorporating information about the emotional responses of residents to their surroundings [31][34][37][41]. Furthermore, public health can also make use of EGIS, as it can be used to identify and mitigate the emotional stressors associated with different environmental factors such as air pollution and noise [33][42][43].
Despite the potential benefits of EGIS, there are several challenges that need to be addressed to make it a widely adopted and effective tool. Some of the main challenges are the lack of standardized methods for measuring and mapping emotions, as well as the need for standardization in data collection to ensure consistency and comparability across different studies. Another challenge is the lack of integration between GIS and other disciplines that study emotions, such as psychology and neuroscience. Moreover, the development of user-friendly interfaces that can effectively communicate emotional data to different stakeholders, including policymakers, planners, and the public, could be helpful. Future research should focus on developing standardized methods for measuring and mapping emotions in GIS, and on integrating GIS with other disciplines to gain a more comprehensive understanding of emotions.

4. Musealization of Urban Quarters

The term ‘musealisierung’, meaning musealization, was coined by the German scholar Joachim Ritter who employed the term to describe how pasts that were once tradition come into modernity to be institutionalized [44]. While German scholars have used this term for several decades now, in other European languages researchers frequently refer to musealization/museumification. Musealization has been defined as ‘a form of temporal anchoring in the face of loss of tradition and unsettlement brought about by the increased tempo of technological and related change’ [44]. As stated in the reference tool developed by ICOM’s International Committee for Museology [45], musealization generally means ‘transforming a center of life, which may be a center of human activity or a natural site, into a sort of museum’; this process does not necessarily imply ‘taking an object to place it within the confines of the museum’, but rather a change of context and display, which cause a change in the status of the object. It is a strategy for transforming urban spaces, with a significant influence on the social, cultural, and aesthetic efforts directed toward the visible reconstruction of the past [1]. It is closely connected with programs focusing on the revitalization or urban preservation and urban renewal of historic town centers, being associated with conservation and restoration, with the requalification of streetscapes, reuse of building stock, and appropriation of public spaces [46]. This transformative process called musealization leads to museality—a scenario that describes towns as a museum—is also a phenomenon that can be foreseen, measured, and planned in heritage towns [47]. Initially, the act of musealizing referred to the transference of objects into a museum [46] following three major processes, namely: (i) ‘loss of function’ or ‘alteration of function’; (ii) ‘alteration of context’; and (iii) ‘a new relation between the subject (viewer) and the object, whereby the viewer takes on a posture of admiration’ Sturm, 1990, cited by (Nelle 2009).
Musealization as a transformation process has been documented for historical city centers that are part of the World Heritage List [46][47], as well as smaller [48][49] or larger cities throughout the world [50][51].
The use of EGIS can be beneficial in the process of the musealization of cities. By analyzing emotional data, EGIS can help identify the most emotionally significant places in a city, such as historic landmarks, cultural institutions, or natural environments. This information can be used to create more engaging and immersive cultural experiences for visitors, by highlighting the emotional connections that people have with these places [32][34][39][41][52][53].


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