ENHANCING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND HERITAGE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA IN CHINA
Keywords: Social Media, Community Engagement, Historic Urban Landscape, Inclusive Heritage Conservation, China
Abstract. Although numerous participatory methods and assessments have been tested in the western context, the community participation practice is still limited in China, a developing country. In addition, due to the diversity of cultural, historical, economic, and social backgrounds, Chinese community participation differs from similar international approaches. Hence it is critical to explore how engaging Chinese people with their own heritage properties can foster stewardship, multi-stakeholder connection, and support policy and strategy making.
It is very challenging to preserve the character of historic urban landscapes because they change over time in a rapidly developing urban context. Research on revealing people's stories and preferences concerning the Chinese historic urban landscape in their visiting and living experience is needed to address this concern directly. The study applies a novel approach to explore public attitudes based on the fusion of social media data, land use data and other information. It examines the spatial patterns of public responses towards the government-led urban heritage conservation projects in the historic city centre of Harbin, China, in sixteen months (2021–2022). The article concludes that social media plays an important role in accessing broader communities, monitoring people's preferences, and observing heritage attributes and values for inclusive urban heritage management.