Heritage, health and place: The legacies of local community-based heritage conservation on social wellbeing

Andrew Power, Karen Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Geographies of health challenge researchers to attend to the positive effects of occupying, creating and using all kinds of spaces, including 'green space' and more recently 'blue space'. Attention to the spaces of community-based heritage conservation has largely gone unexplored within the health geography literature. This paper examines the personal motivations and impacts associated with people's growing interest in local heritage groups. It draws on questionnaires and interviews from a recent study with such groups and a conceptual mapping of their routes and flows. The findings reveal a rich array of positive benefits on the participants' social wellbeing with/in the community. These include personal enrichment, social learning, satisfaction from sharing the heritage products with others, and less anxiety about the present. These positive effects were tempered by needing to face and overcome challenging effects associated with running the projects thus opening up an extension to health-enabling spaces debates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Place
Early online date25 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Community
  • Health enabling spaces
  • Heritage
  • Older people
  • Therapeutic landscapes

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