A review of the role of social media for the cultural heritage sustainability
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During the last 20 years, with the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), an emerging interest has appeared in Digital Community Engagement (DCE) in the process of cultural heritage management. Due to a growing need to involve a broader community in the Historic Urban Landscape approach, social media are considered one of the most important platforms to promote the public participation process of urban heritage conservation in the context of rapid urbanization. Despite the growing literature on DCE, which has delivered a general overview of different digital technologies and platforms to enhance heritage conservation, little research has been done on taking stock of the utilization of social media in this process. This study aims to fill the research gap by providing a more comprehensive picture of the functionalities of social media platforms and their impacts on sustainable urban development through a systematic literature review. As a result, 19 out of 248 DCE relevant articles are selected as objects to illustrate the contribution of social media. The study identified the characteristics of these applied social media tools, explores their roles and influences in cases. The article concludes that social media offers a platform for a wider range of stakeholders to have a voice in the decision process of cultural heritage management, and it should be widely applied to encourage citizens from all over the world.
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