Developing an integrated heritage management approach: the case of Hearne, Texas
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This study addresses integrated planning and management in rural Texas communities. While these communities have numerous valuable cultural resources, they often lack economic and technical resources for preservation and sustainable tourism development. This paper presents the results of a community-academic partnership to develop an inventory of historic and community resources plus a spatial database. The inventory database was developed to be compatible with that used by the state agency for historic preservation - the Texas Historical Commission (THC). The results were used to create an interactive database of cultural and tourism resources using Geographic Information Systems. An integrated approach to Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism planning as developed in this project involves integrating across local interests and sectors, as well as between federal, state (regional) and local levels. Working with the local NGO and city council plus with the THC was critical to enable capacity building and continuity in the planning process. The information base has been actively used to initiate a series of planning and preservation activities aimed to improve the town's eligibility for financial and technical aid related to historic preservation and heritage tourism development. This project corroborates the need for a strategic framework that integrates historic preservation and heritage tourism planning. The challenge of addressing the diverse cultural heritage of communities like Hearne is also addressed briefly in the paper.
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