Aims of the Cooperative Heritage Lab
Reinterpretation and revitalization
A participatory process is a sequence of participatory activities (e.g. first filling out a survey, then making proposals, discussing them in face-to-face or virtual meetings, and finally prioritizing them) with the aim of defining and making a decision on a specific topic.
Examples of participatory processes are: a process of electing committee members (where candidatures are first presented, then debated and finally a candidacy is chosen), participatory budgets (where proposals are made, valued economically and voted on with the money available), a strategic planning process, the collaborative drafting of a regulation or norm, the design of an urban space or the production of a public policy plan.
Finding a complex, and economically sustainable functionality for the site; reinterpretation and revitalization
· Finding a complex, and economically sustainable functionality for the site that promotes the heritage value of the assets, integrates it with the surrounding National Park and helps the sustainability of the farm and the recently established training centre;
· Integrating it regionally and nationally into heritage paths;
· Building co-operation with local institutions using the concepts of local historical heritage;
· Inviting the local community and creating a virtual community to re-define the message of the site by adding their personal interpretations through an online crowdsourcing project, focusing on the meaning of medieval past for the community.
Reinterpretation and revitalization: new functions for the site
The farm development project started in 2010 as a result of a detailed planning process based on environmental, production, and heritage-related considerations. A development and management plan was made, focusing on the following three points:
· recreation of historical land-use pattern,
· ecologically friendly agrarian production
· protection and revitalisation of archaeological heritage
The aim has been to develop the manorial complex into a local production centre taking into account the exceptional natural, environmental, landscape and cultural heritage aspects of the manor and of the surrounding area.
The development and management plan separated the manor complex into several production and activity zones:
· welcome area and commercial activity
· tourist info
· planned bicycle stop
· entrance to the site
· residential area
· residence of the owner separated from other residential area
· production zone
· building for production of dairy and meet products
· workshop building for the manor
· agricultural machines and storage zone
· animal stalls and stables (sheep, goat, horses)
· galery forest zone woodland grazing area
· medieval water system
Problems addressed by the Cooperative Heritage Lab
Protection and presentation of the heritage site
a) The ruins were plundered by treasure hunters, so partly unearthed but not conserved. The recently and properly excavated parts are covered now with a protective roof as a temporary solution. However, a long-term solution must be found, which appears as a financial as well as a conceptual problem to solve.
b) Since the ruins are situated on private property, they are closed for visitors, the local community and the tourists. In the past few years, we experimented with opening it for the public on special occasions in the form of various events organized there, as well as in the framework of guided tours, but a long-term solution must be found.
The site is located in a natural area under legal protection, and recently the ruin area was declared a protected monument and a protected archaeological site (Pomáz 23/12). This appears as a challenge when planning archaeological research and any developments that concern the conservation, management, and presentation of the site.
Neither the bio-farm, nor the built heritage site and the educational center are economically sustainable enterprises. However, it is necessary to create conditions that allow the preservation and presentation of the site. The three functions need to be combined a way that it ensures the long-term sustainability of the site.
Another challenge is how to manage the co-operation of various stakeholders that include the owner of the farm, the National Park, the parties interested in the research and presentation of the built heritage on the site, and various segments of the local urban community, such as civil associations, educational institutions, local municipalities.
The site is marginally situated from the point of view of the town and the local community, both geographically and in terms of their self-perception as a town. The re-definition of its position on the mental map of the urban community of Pomáz will contribute to the sustainability of the site as well as to the social integrity of the fragmented, originally multi-ethnic settlement largely impacted by the phenomenon of the commuting workforce due to its vicinity to the capital. In addition, the above-mentioned identification of the town as the Gate of Pilis makes it a transitional place for the tourists visiting the mountain region. The local heritage can serve as an important element in the re-definition of the local identity, and the site can serve as an experimental laboratory in this respect as well.
Cultural problems, regional integration
At the level of national culture, various pseudo-historical ideas are centred around the Pilis. The presentation of the site will contribute to integrating it into the proper histories at a local and national level and to the tuning of these trends.
a) The management of the site should address how to handle the visitors of the built heritage in an area under natural protection; the issue is closely connected to those of environmental communication.
b) Heritage preservation and management interests often contradict to the requirements of managing an area under natural protection, e.g. the vegetation has to be removed in a certain extent when conserving and presenting the buildings. This is closely connected to the above-mentioned legal problems too.