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Issue 5.2

Recognizing Place-Intelligence in Historic Environments for Sustainable Futures

Local knowledge is commonly understood as the accumulated knowledge of communities with long histories that have been passed on from generation to generation. Such traditional knowledge is sometimes recognized in rural and indigenous communities with intimate connections to the natural environment. Expanding the notion of local knowledge in historic environments, this essay argues for the importance of recognizing and learning from the deeply embedded knowledge of historic places, their “place-intelligence” that has made them resilient and meaningful over centuries. At a time when all countries, cities, and communities share aspirations for advancing sustainability, recognizing place-intelligence and nurturing it in communities is a valuable means for localizing the global goals of sustainable development in ways that integrate heritage conservation.

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