Genius loci – Maaseudun kulttuuriperinnön organisoiminen ja tuotteistaminen: valtakunnallinen kehittämistutkimus (Genius loci – organization and productisation of rural cultural heritage: A national development study.)

The background of the project application at hand lies in the Central Ostrobothnian Genius Loci umbrella project, which consists of a preliminary study and a follow-on study. The preliminary study database includes 471 cultural destinations and/or place stories, as well as 334 units and 611 experts. The project was led by researcher Ilkka Luoto. In the follow-on study (August 2012 – Summer 2014) of the Genius Loci umbrella project, an Internet- and database-based geospatial data service of Central Ostrobothnia will be created based on the material of the preliminary study. The geospatial data service will include services available around the cultural destinations and along the routes, as well as the contact information and location of experts. Researchers are Kari Ilmonen and Anne Ruuttula-Vasari.

The purpose of the Genius loci – organisation and productisation of rural cultural heritage project is to utilise the Central Ostrobothnian Genius Loci concept, adapting and extending it to national action models. The purpose of the project is that entrepreneurs, associations, public sector and communities together produce and build routes and services for region’s inhabitants and visitors. From the perspective of rural policy, the goal is to enhance the vitality, community spirit, attractiveness and competitive edge of the countryside by utilising the means of rural culture.

Commodification of rural culture and traditions is sometimes felt as a threat. The objective of the project is to provide information on the organisation and productisation of rural cultural heritage in Finland. In addition, the aim is to propose and develop resilient models for actors in rural areas to utilise as regards content, technical implementation and institutionalisation.

Governing rural cultural heritage can be quite demanding because it is a cultural commons. We should look for solutions that lead to inclusive solutions for society and resist the temptation to close entry to our common past just in order to help to finance the system.

Further information: Jouni Kaipainen

Funding: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Rural Policy Committee.