The adoption of the Charter on the Preservation of Digital Heritage by UNESCO in 2003, formally expanded the concept of heritage to encompass cultural works and informational products either ‘created digitally, or converted into digital form’. The Charter was primarily a response to the concerns of institutions appointed to maintain repositories of public knowledge, such as museums, libraries and archives. The Charter affirms the role of such institutions and acknowledges opportunities to broaden access to historic resources through digital technologies. It also recognises the risks posed by technological obsolescence and the need to address supportive legislation for digital heritage. The Charter’s focus has, however, since been criticised for taking too narrow a view of what has become a rapidly progressing environment of digital tools, technologies and applications.

The concept of heritage also expanded with the recognition of cultural landscapes as a distinct category of World Heritage in 1992. This was followed by the adoption of UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003, and Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape in 2011. While not as technologically seductive as the digital environment, cultural landscapes present unique preservation, presentation and sustainability issues associated with their spatial, temporal and intangible heritage qualities. The cultural landscape concept has similarly received criticism. Through failure to adequately articulate the dynamic nature of cultural heritage, the concept remains essentially conservation-driven and lacks the descriptive precision necessary to position cultural landscapes within mainstream planning and development frameworks.

Driven by these developments and criticisms, there has been significant interest in both digital heritage and cultural landscapes over recent years. The junction between the two, however, remains essentially under-explored. Digital technologies can improve conservation documentation and preservation techniques, enhance interpretation with interactive media, enrich archives with sensory experiences, and augment histories with crowdsourced data. Cultural landscapes can epitomise the nexus between cultural and natural heritage, acknowledge significant human interaction with environments over time, and recognise enduring intercultural dialogue across space, time and societies. Yet both can also provoke questions about authenticity, ownership and value, and challenge the concept of ‘living heritage’ and the sustainability of heritage values.

Digital cultural heritage: FUTURE VISIONS a landscape perspective

Sat 23 Nov 2019 9:00amSun 24 Nov 2019 4:00pm


College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP),
Tongji University,
1239 Siping Road,
Shanghai, China

This conference seeks to explore the multiple implications and theoretical challenges of digital technologies for cultural landscapes. The conference will focus less on descriptive projects and more on how digital technologies can contribute to debates about the relationship between the cultural and natural past, present and future. What do we capture, commodify and experience using digital technologies and why? How are dynamic cultural landscapes interpreted, negotiated and represented and for whom? When should cultural landscapes be protected for future generations and how can they be managed sustainably for the present? The conference will focus on the emerging disciplines of digital cultural heritage and the established practice of heritage management, providing a platform for critical debate between those developing and applying innovative digital technology, and those seeking to integrated best practice into the preservation, presentation and sustainable management of historic cultural landscapes.


Organising Institutions

College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University (Shanghai, China)

School of Architecture, University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia)

Supporting Institutions

World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (Shanghai) under the auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP, Shanghai)

ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISC CL)

Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture Cultural Landscape Committee (CHSLA CLC)

Editorial Office of Chinese Landscape Architecture Journal

Editorial Office of Built Heritage Journal

Conference Convenors

Professor Feng Han, Dr Chen Yang, Tongji University, China

Dr Kelly Greenop, Associate Professor Chris Landorf, University of Queensland, Australia

Keynote speakers

The following keynote speakers have been confirmed with more to follow:

  • Professor Tim Winter, The University of Western Australia, leading author on heritage diplomacy
  • Dr Tom Brigden, Associate at Purcell, London-based architects and heritage consultants


College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, China.


The languages of the conference are English and Chinese. Authors can submit their work in either of these two languages. Presentations will correspondingly be organised into either English or Chinese sessions. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided for the keynote lectures and discussions taking place in the main hall. We encourage participants to present their work in English or with English translations on your presentation slides.


This conference is free for all participants. Participants need to register and provide personal information prior to the conference for catering and organisational purposes. Links to the registration system will be released in June 2019.  Participants need to pay for their own transportation, accommodation and other costs in Shanghai.


All abstracts and full papers will undergo a double-blind review by at least two members of the Conference Organising Committee. Full papers will be due for review before the conference and final proceedings will be published after the conference to allow for the incorporation of suggestions stemming from session presentations. The Conference Organising Committee will propose a limited number of outstanding peer-reviewed papers for post-conference publication in the journals Chinese Landscape Architecture (in Chinese, CN11-2165/TU, ISSN1000-6664), or Built Heritage (in English, CN31-2123/G0, ISSN2096-3041).

Submission guidelines

This conference is designed to encourage critical debate across a broad range of heritage-related disciplines. We welcome academics and practitioners from diverse disciplinary perspectives including architecture and landscape architecture, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, geography, education, ethnology, geography, heritage, history, media and museum studies, tourism, sociology and urban studies. We particularly encourage papers that examine the challenges of digitising tangible and intangible cultural heritage across space, time and society, and across disciplines, medias and scales. We also encourage papers that address the theoretical challenges posed by digital cultural heritage, particularly in relation to cultural landscapes and cultural routes.

Abstracts of no more than 300 English words or 500 Chinese characters must be submitted by Monday, 1 April 2019. Please submit abstracts to the following email addresses:

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Conference Organising Committee and a response provided by Monday, 29 April 2019. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit full papers (5000 English words max or 6000 Chinese characters) for publication in the peer reviewed conference proceedings. Accepted papers will be published after the conference. completed

Any other questions:

For Chinese questions, please contact Dr Chen Yang at

For English questions, please contact Associate Professor Chris Landorf at

Key dates

Abstracts due: 01 April 2019

Notification of abstract acceptance: 29 April 2019

Full papers due for peer review: 01 July 2019

Notification of full paper acceptance: 02 September 2019

Registration closes: 15 November 2019

Conference: 23-24 November 2019

Final papers due: 20 January 2020