Urban development and associated cultural heritage management practices: Evidence from the World Heritage Site of Lalibela, Ethiopia
The recent urban development policy discourse highlights the integration of urban development features and the cultural heritage management approach. Further, there is limited study on the existing serious concerns regarding proper heritage management and urban development matters. Therefore, this study was aimed at examining urban development and associated cultural heritage management practises using evidence from the World Heritage Site of Lalibela, Ethiopia. Both quantitative and qualitative exploratory research designs were used to conduct the study. Data were collected using a questionnaire from 126 heritage stakeholders. Data were also supplemented through key informant interviews and focus group discussions with 69 heritage stakeholders. Moreover, 47 years of land use- land cover change detection data were used to analyse urban development patterns. The finding revealed that the World Heritage Site is affected by the rapid population growth and urban expansion that have been observed in the last four decades and above. The processes also contribute to and aggravate the physical deterioration of the cultural heritage. Therefore, failure to monitor the urban expansion directly affects cultural heritage management practises. The implication of the result confirmed that urban development features and the cultural heritage management approach need urgent concern so as not to put the values and properties of the world heritage site at risk.
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