An evaluation of decision-making process on maintenance of built cultural heritage: The case of Visby, Sweden

Eken E., Tasci B., Gustafsson C.

CITIES, vol.94, pp.24-32, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 94
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cities.2019.05.030
  • Journal Name: CITIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.24-32
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Preventive conservation is a significant approach for the conservation of built cultural heritage. This approach aims to prevent major deteriorations through monitoring and a planned maintenance programme. Although Visby, as one of the most important world heritage sites of Sweden, has many governmental organizations for conservation, none has a particular focus on maintenance. This paper examines the perspective of the habitants about the maintenance of their dwellings in the World Heritage Site of Visby. In this context, a survey is carried out to determine the main tendency of the habitants regarding the maintenance of historic buildings inside the city walls. Thus, the survey requires not only quantitative methods based on statistical data, but also qualitative methods based on interpretative data. The questionnaire conducted with the owners and tenants is the primary data collection tool. Both the owners and the tenants agree with the necessity of a non-governmental organisation in Visby to provide advice on maintenance. Maintenance and regular monitoring prevent costlier and large-scale repairs and are essential to retaining the cultural significance of Visby. This study can be helpful for adopting the community's opinion to the regular maintenance programme and promoting cooperation between non-profit organizations and governmental organizations in cultural heritage.