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An ICT-enhanced methodology for the characterization of vernacular built heritage at a regional scale

Arias Tapiero, Juan Camilo; Graus, Sandra; Khei, Soon; Silva, Dener; Conde, Otávio; Ferreira, Tiago Miguel; Ortega, Javier; Luso, Eduarda; Rodrigues, Hugo; Vasconcelos, Graça

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Juan Camilo Arias Tapiero

Sandra Graus

Soon Khei

Dener Silva

Otávio Conde

Tiago Miguel Ferreira

Javier Ortega

Eduarda Luso

Hugo Rodrigues

Graça Vasconcelos


The characterization of vernacular buildings is crucial for understanding the historical, social, and cultural significance of a community. These buildings reflect a collective memory and result from a long adaptation process to the local environment. Documenting them facilitates better decision-making regarding the preservation of their intrinsic values and long-term conservation. Unfortunately, depopulation processes in many areas threaten this invaluable heritage. Furthermore, this heritage is often overlooked due to a lack of awareness and appreciation by local authorities and residents. This paper presents a methodology for documenting and inventorying vernacular built heritage, with the main goal of contributing to promoting its valorization. The methodology integrates Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with GIS tools to create large-scale inventories. Using the Montesinho Natural Park (Portugal) as a case study, the methodology facilitated the collection of data from over 2,000 buildings in 13 villages. The collected data was then used to characterize the vernacular built heritage of selected villages in terms of authenticity, conservation state, materials, construction systems, past interventions, present use, and occupancy. The findings of this study can serve as a valuable resource for developing inventories of vernacular buildings in rural areas, contributing to the protection of this distinctive architectural heritage.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 10, 2024
Online Publication Date Feb 23, 2024
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2024
Publicly Available Date Feb 27, 2024
Journal International Journal of Architectural Heritage
Print ISSN 1558-3058
Electronic ISSN 1558-3066
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Visual Arts and Performing Arts, Architecture, Conservation
Public URL
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