CFP – International Conference “CULTURE(S) IN SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: THEORIES, PRACTICES & POLICIES”, Helsinki | 6-8 May, 2015


Session 5: The role of participative and perceptive maps in building and preserving sustainable culture(s)

Chairs: Sara Bonati (Università degli studi di Padova; DMDM project, CECC/CIERL), Daniele Codato (Università degli studi di Padova), Marco Tononi (Università degli studi di Padova)
Contact: sara.bonati @

Human geographers have produced important contributions to the literature on sustainable culture(s), especially with focus on investigation of alternative visions and models of socio-ecological interaction in cultural production, everyday practices, and policy innovation. In particular, geographical analysis and mapping have been adopted to implement sustainable practices and policies and shape their dynamics.

With the development of the participatory mapping methods in the late 80’s, there has been a considerable growth of approaches and methodologies on participative analysis as well as (but not only) sketch maps, 3D maps and community based maps, that with the support of technology have produced new methods, like as PGIS (Participatory GIS), PPGIS (Public Participatory GIS) and VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information; see Rambaldi et al., 1996; Sieber, 2006). Participatory mapping strategies are used to empower local community, make action, contribute in decision-making process, and involve people in the production, interpretation, use and communication of spatial information. These approaches evolve in parallel and interact with questions about the legitimacy and problems associated with the use of maps, that enter in the critical cartography sphere, but that can be associated with all the forms of spatial representation.

The session aims to focus on the role of spatial representation, maps and cartography in building sustainable scenarios, through the promotion and preservation of local culture(s) and practices, asking, in particular for research findings from participative spatial representation tools, like as (but not limited to) spatial infographics, 3D maps, sketch maps, PPGIS, PGIS and VGI studies.

Accordingly, we invite scholars, practicioners and policymakers who operationalize key concepts like as place, networks, scale, and geographical diffusion in the study of sustainable culture(s). In particular, we ask for methods discussion, applications and outcomes of using maps in participative approaches in order to preserve cultural ecosystem values, promote sustainable practices and urban policies, reduce vulnerability to climate change, and integrate cultural knowledge in scientific analysis. Contributions from both qualitative and quantitative traditions, with integrated and multidisciplinary approach, are welcome.

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