The economic benefits of cultural heritage are manifest in many forms such as tourism, sustained real estate values and a burgeoning domestic construction and maintenance industry in most of Australia’s historic centres.
The value of a heritage property can be assessed in one of two ways. Firstly; its existence value i.e. by the simple fact that it exists as an historical marker of a previous era and secondly, its economic value based on real estate market prices. This duality forms the basis of much debate in society because although privately owned, there is a public good component to all heritage listed buildings and places in society.
Nasser explains that conservation has three interrelated objectives; physical, spatial, and social. Physically, it is linked to building preservation. Spatially, it is linked to townscape as a holistic entity and socially, it is concerned with users, the local community and urban population.
She argues that the social dimension is the most difficult to define because factors of selection, restriction and expansion, efficient use, and viability are product focused concerns that treat physical attributes and their commercial potential in higher order that the needs of users, residents, property owners, and those who depend upon conserved heritage environments for their livelihoods.
Paul Rappoport – Heritage 21 – 7 September 2011