Urban mapping of World Cultural Heritage territories (the case of Stralsund, Germany)

  • I. Eremenko Sociological Institute of the RAS – Branch of the FCTAS RAS, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Saint Petersburg State University, Russia; University of Bamberg, Germany.
Ключевые слова: urban mapping, urban conflicts, World Heritage sites, World Heritage сities, сultural heritage


Mapping in modern sociology is considered one of the main methods for marking and promoting the geopolitical picture of the world and maps of cities are no exception. The purpose of this paper is to identify the boundaries of the World Cultural Heritage (WCH) represented on various maps as well as the specifics of their use in urban change practices. The city of Stralsund (Germany), which has been a World Heritage city since 2002, was chosen as the model object for analysis. This study is based on an understanding of the map as a power resource that conveys the worldview needed by the city administration as the map client. As materials for the study, two main sources of information were used: maps presented in official documents, official media, on the information stands of the city, and data from expert interviews with representatives of the city administration, local businesses, employees of the tourist center and local activists. The study showed 3 main sociological aspects in urban mapping of World Cultural Heritage sites: 1. Multiplicity and targeting of WCH mapping. Urban mapping is a tool for local authorities to zone the urban environment to demonstrate the boundaries of cultural to different categories of consumers: experts, tourists, and residents. The city authorities create city maps with a focus on various interest groups in view of cultural and political communication in Stralsund. 2. Maps as a symbolic resource. The city administration is the only actor that forms and transmits the borders of the WCH, which gives its representatives a special expert status within the WCH. Urban mapping is a policy tool for implementing a symbolic resource to demonstrate the boundaries of the World Cultural Heritage. 3. Maps as arguments in conflicts around changes in urban areas. Urban maps serve as a powerful resource for conflict management by the city administration. In situations of conflict between the local government and the city's residents, including different local communities, city maps are converted into political capital for the city government in order to approve the correctness of the chosen program of action for changing the urban environment. Thus, urban mapping is an essential part of the city administration's strategies for both locals and tourists. The pragmatic meaning of the sociology of urban mapping is in the definition and public discussion of the strategies for the use of World Heritage sites by all city actors.


The paper has benefited from the support of the Centre for German and European Studies (St. Petersburg State University and Bielefeld University) supported by the DAAD with funds from the German Foreign Office.


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Как цитировать
Eremenko, I. (2019). Urban mapping of World Cultural Heritage territories (the case of Stralsund, Germany). ЖУРНАЛ СОЦИОЛОГИИ И СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ АНТРОПОЛОГИИ, 22(3), 141-154. https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2019.22.3.6