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Goth Village – Thematic village as an anchor for new local identity and multifunctional development of rural areas

Thematisation of space is currently a method, widely commented and described in literature and the media, to make the “place” (in this case a village) known on the wider scale. In a narrow sense, it is focused on selecting a leitmotif for places, events or persons, which become the basis for creating tourist products and serves mainly the marketing purposes. In a broad sense (and this is the way we analyze it along this case study research), it is a model for development of local (in this case rural) community.

Goth Village as one of four RELOCAL case studies carried in Poland aims to focus on the idea of Thematisation of rural space, which leads to multifunctional development, redefining local identity and strong place attachment in the area that has been economically and socially impoverished. We identify practices applied in the process of positive changes: 1) social, e.g.: development of social interest in the village’s past, development of new skills, social relations, strong local and regional identity; 2) economic, e.g.: development of non-agricultural activities in the village (agritourist farms, cultural events) and 3) landscape-related bringing new forms and architectural dominants as well as new “central places” of Masłomęcz as a result of mobilisation and coordination of own resources and energy, creativity and hard work of people, supported by various external incentives.

The uniqueness of this particular action consists in achieving exceptional effects as a result of strengthening relationships between people and space. The identification and use of specific resources (the history of the area) was of key importance, combined with important external incentives in the form of first process creators (experts) and then possibilities of financing the entire initiative (e.g. EU funds).

For more information on this Case Study, please contact: Paulina Tobiasz – University of Lodz (paulina.tobiasz@geo.uni.lodz.pl)

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