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In recent years the issue of recognition and activating cultural heritage as a resource in local and regional development, a unique type of territorial capital which may impact on diverse dimensions of socio-economic development has become an important area of heritage studies. Both the potential of heritage and complex challenges of its contemporary use linked with the diversity of possible spheres of its impact (economic, social, cultural, ecological) are taken into account. This topic has been strongly present in research endeavours and educational offer at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management as well as other chairs and departments – members of the GEOREGNET cooperation network of geography units from Central and Eastern Europe. It has therefore become an inspiration for the organisation of an international summer school focused on this theme to take place in Krakow on July 3-16, 2022. The event will be an occasion for meeting and interactions between a diverse, international group of participants (students, PhD students and lecturers from GEOREGNET partner universities).

The planned 10th edition of the GEOREGNET summer school, is at the same time the first such event with a leading theme of cultural heritage. During 13 days of the summer school (including 10 days of organised/structured lectures comprising of ca. 7 days in Krakow and 3 days of field trips in the environs and outside of the city) different forms of classes are foreseen (lectures, tutorials, research walks, case studies, educational games/quests, a photo contest, discussions and meetings with experts). Several important issues linked with effective heritage management in the context of regional development will be brought to the fore such as:

1) the recognition of the multiplicity of sites, buildings and artefacts as well as immaterial values which can be considered as heritage (typological and chronological diversity of heritage, including industrial heritage, heritage of ethnic minorities and communist heritage),

2) a broad range of heritage stakeholders who may benefit from and impact on heritage, its state of repair, meanings and uses,

3) diverse actual and potential functions in the context of contemporary development processes (economic and social uses of heritage, its impact on the image of place, uses in the processes of urban regeneration, by creative industries, etc.),

4) diverse spatial, regional and local contexts of heritage (peripheral/central; urban/rural; minority/majority heritage, etc).

The above mentioned issues and themes will be included in the school’s programme underlining possibilities of geographic research and contribution to the discussion on the role of heritage as a local and regional development resource (including the use of GIS in the research on, promotion and management of heritage). Heritage-related issues will be analysed taking into account both a global, universal perspective and underlining the specific possibilities and challenges linked with sustainable uses of heritage in the context of Central and Eastern Europe.