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architectural heritage, Bulgaria, heritage preservation, post-communist countries, public participation, Tobacco City, warehouses
In times of rapid globalization, the significance of cultural and architectural heritage is rising, as it is a key element to define the identity of a place, a city, even a country. Its preservation, conservation, and revitalization are everyone’s responsibility, and the public is growing more aware of that fact. The citizens are looking for a way to actively participate in the decision-making in projects regarding heritage sites. Public involvement in the planning process is not a new phenomenon, especially in Western countries. However, countries, such as the former communist states of Eastern Europe, have been less studied. Based on established theories, this paper analyses the level of citizens’ inclusion in projects regarding heritage preservation, using the example of the Tobacco City in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. As this case is exemplary for Bulgaria, it illustrates the current condition of public participation country-wise. At the same time, considering the former communist states have had a similar socio-economic and political development in the past several decades, it is possible to apply the conclusions to most of these countries with only slight variations.