This study examines the changing roles of heritage professionals by focusing on the participatory practices of intangible urban heritage. Developments towards democratisation in the heritage sector led to a growing expectation that heritage professionals would work with local publics. This democratisation is manifested in (1) the use of digital media for grassroots heritage practices, (2) the broader scope of what is defined as heritage, and (3) a focus on communities in UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Heritage professionals are thus challenged to develop inclusive heritage practices, particularly in cities, which are characterised by a dynamic nature and cultural diversity. In this article, I analyse how urban heritage organisations and professionals have responded to these developments. Drawing on interviews and a qualitative content analysis of these organisations’ policy documents, I examine the ways in which heritage professionals reconsider their public role through what I define as networked practices of intangible heritage. This concept captures the networked structure in which heritage professionals increasingly work, and also demonstrates how heritage is given meaning through public practices that take place in both the physical and virtual realms of contemporary cities.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal International Journal of Cultural Policy
van der Hoeven, A.J.C. (2019). Networked practices of intangible urban heritage: the changing public role of Dutch heritage professionals. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 25(2), 232–245. doi:10.1080/10286632.2016.1253686