Scholarly article on topic 'Cultural Heritage as a Resource: its Role in the Sustainability of Urban Developments. The Case of Tlemcen, Algeria'

Cultural Heritage as a Resource: its Role in the Sustainability of Urban Developments. The Case of Tlemcen, Algeria Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

Share paper
Academic journal
Procedia Engineering
OECD Field of science
{"Cultural heritage" / "Economical asset" / "Sustainable human development"}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Y. Necissa

Abstract It is now largely admitted that cultural heritage could be considered a set of tangible and intangible assets, which are developed, transmitted, processed to enhance the identity and also the economical situation of a territory. Yet, in Algeria, cultural heritage has rarely been considered as a resource. After being considered as a conservation tool and as an essential constitution of the nation, cultural heritage has become a resource for the construction and development of territories. This paper is based on a doctorate research and analyses cultural heritage from an economical prospective. How can it be conserved and yet promoted?

Academic research paper on topic "Cultural Heritage as a Resource: its Role in the Sustainability of Urban Developments. The Case of Tlemcen, Algeria"

Available online at

SciVerse ScíenceDírect

ProcediaEngineering21 - 882

Procedia Engineering

2211 Ieterertioerl Coefereece oe Greee Buildiens red Sustrierble Cities

Cultural heritage as a resource: its role in the sustainability of urban developments. The Case of Tlemcen, Algeria


aArchitecture and Environment research unit, EPAU, BP n°177 El Harrach, , Algiers16200, Algeria


It is now largely admitted that cultural heritage could be considered a set of tangible and intangible assets, which are developed, transmitted, processed to enhance the identity and also the economical situation of a territory. Yet, in Algeria, cultural heritage has rarely been considered as a resource. After being considered as a conservation tool and as an essential constitution of the nation, cultural heritage has become a resource for the construction and development of territories. This paper is based on a doctorate research and analyses cultural heritage from an economical prospective. How can it be conserved and yet promoted?

© 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of APAAS Keywords: cultural heritage; economical asset; sustainable human development

1. Introduction

* Correspoedien author. Tel.: +213773677693

E-mail addresses:

1877-7058 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2011.11.2089

Besides its cultural values, heritage can be seen as an economic resource. It is a fragile resource, often irreplaceable, requiring careful treatment. But it is clear that spending on conservation / restoration generate economic benefits and direct and indirect social importance. Therefore, it can be considered as investments, generating capital gains quantitative and qualitative support to the quality of life of citizens.

The different actors whether institutional, political, technical, associations or scientists working on the field of heritage are confronted with complex and new issues: the increased need for information, methods and reliable data networking, to expertise, developing of collective abilities for intervention. In this context, taking into account the social and economic impact of heritage represent a defining issue for the different actors (institutions, associations, economic, scientific) involved in its management, restoration, preservation and benefits.

2. The socio-economic benefits of the heritage

Since the early '80s, this date is not accidental: a number of European cities suffering heavily from the crisis began to seek ways to have new businesses, generate new revenue and to rehabilitate their built environment. In addition, the work of assessing the economic impact of heritage has continued to grow nationally as that of its sites. The most simple works put forward are on the number of visitors that pretend significant expenditure, while others put forward directly on the amount of expenditure and equivalent generated jobs.Some analyze the impact of visits, but others stimulate them, generally from an approach inspired by contingent valuation techniques. The final results are often important, but also debatable. By focusing solely on tourists we tend to overlook the role of local people in the consumption of heritage services and their availability to finance local taxes.

According to Xavier Creffe [1], there is another way to show the importance of heritage for economic development that is to say from its role as intermediate consumption for businesses seeking referrals for their new products.Xavier Greffe bases his analysis on the dissociation between heritage supports (non-reproducible and non-substitutable) and heritage Services (repeatable and largely interchangeable) by distinguishing for Heritage supply and demand for services.

The author acknowledges that this analysis in terms of supply and demand is not sufficient in the case of heritage, for him heritage should be part of a broader reality. He relies on the different and known values attributed to heritage (aesthetic, artistic, historical, cognitive, economic and social).Heritage activities can create jobs, generate significant economic benefits, These economic benefits can be approached from many aspects: monetary, non monetary, economic, social, cultural, environmental. In terms of local development, they are different seen from different angles.

2.1. Sa/ial-Impa/t af heritage 2.1.1The dige/t jabs:

jobs that are mobilized by any heritage site for its operations, hosting visitors, offering entertainment and ensure its maintenance

2.1.2.Hegitage jabs id monuments and site:

they are the jobs needed to host visitors of a section.

• Jobs in the administrations in charge of heritage: jobs mobilized by the administrations in their mission of preservation and enhancing heritage

2.1.3. Guides heritage:

the guide is a professional engaged to host, to inform and to transmit knowledge.

2.1.4.Icdirdct jobs:

these are jobs in sectors providing properties and services serving heritage Jobs related to the restoration of building:

• Enterprises: these are enterprises with certification of "restoration of historical buildings and ancient heritage. Heritage Artisans: Jobs crafts related to the renovation heritage and jobs generated in the industry of materials.

• The heritage architects.

The -related jobs in the heritage tourism:

Heritage generates a burst of activity in sectors such as hotels, restaurants, transport, trade and rental of real estate and vehicle.

Other indirect jobs:

These indirect jobs related to the development of heritage such as teaching and research, communication, organization of cultural events or business within the monuments and heritage associations.

4-induced Heritage Jobs: Jobs created through the activity generated by the use of fees associated with direct and indirect Heritage

2.2. Economic impact licked to heritage tourism:

It estimates the amount of tourist expenditure in the territory Heritage.

There are three types of expenditure:

• The expenditure by visitors to the monument, museum or site within its walls to pay an entrance fee, enjoy a sightseeing, or other

• Expenditure by visitors to the monument, museum or site in the municipality during their stay (accommodation, catering)

• The total expenditure incurred by visitors to the monument, or museum site during their stay

These expenditures are summarized as follows:

• Total revenue visitor gathered by the operator of the monument or museum site.

• Number of visitors paying, not recorded to pay the entrance to the monument, museum or site.

• Number of visitors visiting many monuments, museums or site study areas.

• Number of visitors to the monument, museum, site or living on the territory of study.

• Average expenditure per person per stay recorded on the municipality or the Department for tourists to stay (or by default that average spending per person per day recorded on the town, the municipality or the department and average length of stay of tourists on the municipality.

• Average expenditure per person per day recorded on the town, the pool or the Department for tourist sightseeing.

• Night's lodging spent on the municipality.

3. Towards an economic sustainable development policy in Algeria

Our study was to implement a reliable methodology that allows one to say this is the heritage in our region, that means direct jobs, indirect jobs, induced jobs and gained revenue.

Direct jobs, are the managers who can provide them to us, people who work directly on sites, and other institutions such as the Department of Culture, Tourism and ... municipalities - this was the first stage of this work which at the beginning we thought to be the easiest part as it is the visible part of the iceberg: doing simple addition.

The second part of the work was on some sites to identify a strategy for enhancing sustainable economic heritage.

This task was very difficult and complicated because there is not a structure that it can be a regional coordination structure for example heritage tourism was not a separate structure that runs it. Economic actors must be rebuild and try to see what jobs can be produced.

On the economic aspect, the indirect economic impact is simply the cumulative ticket. In the wilaya of Tlemcen for example, there are several protected monuments and sites but obviously there is not the same revenue.

In this study we focused specifically on this, we interviewed all managers who have a ticket and they were asked to answer a questionnaire where they will be able to tell us the amount realized either in terms of sales shops, parking and transportation. But the stain was not easy, we encountered new difficulties and we realized that it is extremely complicated.

Managers did not have all the data (number of visitors, their types and different revenues), this reflects a problem of management style and it's not a problem of economic and social impact of heritage.

4. The National Park of Tlemcen

Tlemcen is among the richest wilaya in potential heritage, the management of its assets may induce multiple positive effects, on the one hand, it improves the living environment, on the other hand, it contributes to economic development and upgrading tourism.

Tlemcen National Park holds potential heritage rich and varied that represents an easting to be enhanced.

4.1. Histagi/al sites af the park

4.1.1. Histagi/al Complex af Mansauga

The main attraction of the town of Tlemcen, Mansoura or "victory" that rivaled the old city is the historical witness of the two great sites suffered by mérinides of Tlemcen. The remains are the walls which form the boundary area of 100 hectares and the majestic minaret reaching 48 m. In fact Mansoura mosque attracts its originality from the center position of the minaret, which has at its base the main entrance which is truly unique. The site itself has seen very advanced damage and was partially restored.

4.1.2. Histagi/al Camplex af Sidi Baumedienne

Located in El Eubbad, from its name, former convent of spirit, this historical complex is well known in the Arab world. Sidi Boumedienne is the protector saint of the town of Tlemcen, whose shrine is revered

by Muslims of North Africa.

The historical complex of this saint is a real jewel of Arab-Islamic architecture. It is composed of a number of elements denoting its characteristic including the Ksar Es Soltani and its dependencies, the Mausoleum which is part of a group of buildings that can not be found elsewhere in Algeria, a house of pilgrims and the house of Oukil. We also find The baths that retain the character of this era, a Mosque and a a Madrasah which is a last specimen of ancient madrasahs of the Middle Ages built near the tomb in 1346.

4.1.3. Site of Agadir

Which means fortress and is currently represented by some remains and the minaret of the mosque. The development of buildings around the site of the ruins of the old mosque pledges each day Agadir for any possible extension of archaeological research.

4.1.4. Sidi Bou Ishaq Tayar:

It Is also located in El Eubbad and composed of a mausoleum and a minaret. Its remains strategically positioned at the intersection of several channels which makes it somewhat vulnerable by the impact of traffic.

4.1.5. Sidi Abdellah:

historical symbol, this site was chosen by Sidi Boumedienne as a stop for the beauty of the landscape and where the community of scientists has received a very particular welcoming. Historical sites present very important moral and cultural value in the minds of urban populations.

4.1.7.Assessment of historical sites[2]

Historical Sites

classification status


Level of interest




Walls and minaret

Historical building J.O No. 7 of 23 -1 to 1968

List 1900

Municipality of



important - Railway nearby

- illegal constructions.

- Classified site but not protected

Sidi Boumedienne Madrasas, Kobba and bath.

Historical building J.O No. 7 of 23 -1 to 1968

List 1900

Municipality of Tlemcen

Very - Compulsory passage for

important every visitor of the historic

- The mausoleum was burnt down and restored around 1793

- The mosque and part of the burned sites in 1994.

- Site restored

Agadir, minaret Historic building Municipality of 3 Weak - Existence of unexplored

J.O No. 7 of 23 -1 to Tlemcen remains

List 1900

Sidi Abdellah / Municipality of 3 Very weak


1: Weak interest, 2: average interest; 3: Great interest, 4: very great interest

4.2 - Natural sites of the park:

The multitude of natural landscapes offered by this site contains a very important ecological view: microclimate cliffs

The fairy-caves of Beni Add,

forests located on hilly land, crossed by rivers and a set of peaks

Natural sites- * Level Location Attendance Interest Observations

-The Ourit Waterfalls and gardens Municipality of Tlemcen (RN 7 going towards Ain Fezza) 4 Current average Tourist and romantic sites

Forest of Tlemcen and Lalla Setti Municipality of Ain Fezza 4 Current average Reception Facilities rehabilitated by the park.

Municipality of Tlemcen 3 Very important Forest recreation in great demand by urban populatoion. Presence of an entertaining park.

Forests and Hafir Zarifet Municipalities of Ain Ghoraba, Terny, Sabra 3 weak Beautiful views

The dam and its perimeter Municipality of Terny / / /

It can note that both sites Ain Fezza and platform of lala Setti are the most popular. The platform of Lalla Setti and the forest of Tlemcen are the two top destinations for tourists which are visited by over 5000 visitors per day and during the weekend.

The caves of Beni Add (Ain Fezza) welcome many visitors at 200 - 300 people in guided tours every weekend.

5.Socio - economic benefits:

5.1 Identification of bdcdfits[4]

Three types of benefits are identified: direct, indirect and induced:

5.1.1. The direct benefits:

they correspond to the user spending, or any other income obtained by the institutions in charge of monuments, entrance fees, rental of equipment, purchases of catalogs, postcards etc.. and grants and donations.

Some identify the direct benefits such as expenditures made by management agencies in the local environment: payment of salaries, maintenance expenses, purchase of raw material and others.

5.1.2.The induced benefits:

they correspond to the expenditure carried out by those looking for heritage (hotels, catering, transport)

5.1.3.The induced benefits:

They are the benefits likely to intervene in unrecognized and projects under any previous benefits.

5.2 - Assessment of benefits

Economists have developed several methods to estimate the value of heritage properties:

5.2. l.The method of contingent values:

The principle of contingent value is to go directly to consumers and ask them what they are willing to pay to access to properties or services

This method relies on the use of a questionnaire that helps determine the existing value of an asset for the user.

5.2.2. The method "value for money ":

The approach is different from that of the contingent value, this approach is based on a questionnaire to determine if the withdrawn satisfaction of the visit is worth or not the money they have spent or they will spend.

5.2.3.The hedonist pricing method:

It should reveal the disposition of users to pay more to live near a monumental site, park landscaping and archaeological excavations.

This difference reflects the value of the concerned property, the principle is to use price differences to measure the cost of certain properties or benefits.

5.2.4.The cost method of transport:

It is to see if the agents support more cost transport to get access to different sites, and from there the relationship between admission and the number visitors can be stimulated.

The community managers, local or state governments who have to engage significant expenditures for maintenance and the opening to the public can not be satisfied with the argument over economic profitability of the sites to fill the deficit balances. Having more and more duty to strive for self-finance, this heritage must find in itself the necessary financial resources, whether entrance tickets or derived products.


Faced with the need to preserve the heritage of Tlemcen, and in a budgetary context that can only remain constrained in the short and medium term, the fundamental challenge is to find new ways, new tools to encourage, where possible an economically viable source of income likely to get off the heritage of a passive posture.Therefore, it is recommended to:

• Ensure consistency between the various tourism policies.

• Develop cultural tourist activities of heritage.

• Develop an observatory function of the economy of heritage in the general direction of heritage that would follow over time the quantitative and qualitative data of the sector and have a vitality role and sharing of information with different retail intervening.

• Encourage to introduce a network of sites of business functions

• Encourage heritage sites to mutual resources for development.

• Develop cultural tourist products of short period associating some sites.

• Thinking of development of cultural and tourist sites

• ncrease heritage discovery actions.

• Sensitize elected members to heritage issues, particularly to the economic issues. References

[1] In his national study on " the economic valuation of the heritage(holdings) ", Xavier transplants observe that the indirect jobs(uses) led(inferred) by the heritage(holdings) built in tourist and industrial term of employment(use) represent approximately 80 / of all the jobs(uses) of the sector(network) heritage(holdings).

[2] Directorate Report of National Park of Tlemcen 2010

[3] Directorate Report of National Park of Tlemcen 2010

[4]Xavier greffe. la gestion du patrimoine culturel. e/anami/a 1999 ; paris


AUDRERIE ( Dominique) (dir.), Tourisme, culture, patrimoine, Actes du colloque organisé en octobre 2002 à Périgueux, Périgueux, Pilote 24, 2002.

BABEAU (André), Le patrimoine aujourd'hui, Paris, Nathan, 1988.

BABELON (Jean-Pierre) et CHASTEL (André), « La notion de patrimoine », Revue de l'art, 1980, n°49, pp.5-32.

BAROU (Jacques), Nouveaux usages de la campagne et patrimoine, Paris : mission du patrimoine ethnologique, 1997.1998.

BERCE (Françoise), Des monuments historiques au patrimoine, du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours, ou « Les égarements du cœur et de l'esprit », Paris, Flammarion, 2000.

BUTTIN (René), La sauvegarde d'un « patrimoine de l'humanité » : une politique culturelle hors du commun, Mémoire de l'IEP, Grenoble, 2003.

CHASTEL (André), « La notion de patrimoine » in Pierre Nora (dir.), Les lieux de mémoire, tome II, La Nation, Paris, Bibliothèque Illustrée des Histoires, 1986, pp.405-450.

CHIVA (Isaac), Une politique pour le patrimoine culturel rural. Rapport présenté à M.Jacques Toubon, Ministre de la culture et de la francophonie, Ministère de la culture et de la francophonie, 1994.

HOAY ( Françoise), L'allégorie du patrimoine, Paris, Seuil, 1992.Languedoc, 1989.

EBRARD (Guy), COLARDELLE (Michel) et MONFERRAND (Alain), Économie touristique et patrimoine culturel, Paris, Conseil National du Tourisme, Diff. La Documentation Française, 1995.

GREFFE (Xavier), La valeur économique du patrimoine, la demande et l'offre de monuments, Paris, Anthropos, 1990. GREFFE (Xavier), La valorisation économique du patrimoine, paris , la documentation française , 2003