Skip to main content

Communication Model for Built Heritage Assets Going from Knowing to Identification


The Communication Model of Built Heritage Assets (COBA) refers to several scientific theories in the realm of learning and cognition. The idea of the COBA-Model is to support and stimulate a more professional heritage communication and a more efficient use of existing resources. Thus, the identification of citizens with their Built Heritage Asset should be increased in order to get their support in allocating more resources to and preserving cultural heritage. It shall also improve the visitor experiences and in doing so enhance the impacts and benefits from different learning situations. At the first level, the identification process only touches the social identity. Over the course of the next stages the citizen will become more actively involved. Finally, at the expert level at stage five, the expert multiplier is enabled not only to communicate the heritage asset and its values, its characteristics and context but to make adequate decisions. Additionally, these stages should help to broaden the horizon of heritage practitioners and stimulate new ideas as well as unconventional ways of heritage communication.


  • Avrami, Erica, C., R. Mason, and M. De la Torre. 2000. Values and Heritage Conservation: Research Report. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Conservation Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Borgman, C. L. 2010. Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brecht Dr. E. 2013. Managementplan der Stadt Quedlinburg.

  • BTU Cottbus, ed. 2016. “Fakultät 6 Architektur, Bauingenieurwesen und Stadtplanung”.

  • Buckland, M. 2013. “Cultural Heritage (Patrimony): An Introduction.” In Records, Archives and Memory: Selected Papers from the Conference and School on Records, Archives and Memory Studies, University of Zadar, Croatia, May 2013, edited by Mirna Willer, Anne J. Gilliland and Marijana Tomić, 11–25. Zadar: University of Zadar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cleere, H. 2005. “Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society.” In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, edited by Claire Smith, 1724–1727. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forbes, S. 2003. Holistic Education: An Analysis of its Ideas and Nature. Brandon, VT: Foundation for Educational Renewal.

    Google Scholar 

  • Golinelli, Gaetano M., ed. 2014. Cultural Heritage and Value Creation: Towards New Pathways. Springer.

  • Goodey, B. 2006. “Interpreting Urban Heritage.” In Heritage Interpretation, edited by Marion R. Blockley and Alison Hems, 15–38. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boom, S., and L. Batrla. 2010. “URBACT II: Visitor Centre World Heritage Regensburg.”

  • Harrison, R. 2013. “Critical Heritage Studies and the Discursive Turn.” Chap. 5 in Heritage: Critical Approaches. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hattie, J. 2012. Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. Abingdon: Routledge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Hauer, S. 2013. “Management von Welterbestätten.” In Welterbe Limes und Tourismus, edited by Edgar Weinlich, 83–102. Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag GmbH.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hauer S. 2015. “The World Heritage Visistors Center: Invitation to Identification.” ISG Magazine 2015 (3): 30–31.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heckhausen, J. and H. Heckhausen. 2010. Motivation und Handeln. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Hewison, R. 1987. The Heritage Industry Britain in a Climate of Decline. York: Methuen Publishing Ltd.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hobsbawm, E., and R. Terence. 1983. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). 1975. European Charter for the Architectural Heritage.

  • Johnson-Laird, P., N. 1983. Mental Models: Towards a Cognitive Science of Language, Inference, and Consciousness. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krappmann, L. 1993. Soziologische Dimensionen der Identität. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

    Google Scholar 

  • Labadi, S., and W. S. Logan. 2015. Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: International Frameworks, National and Local Governance. London: Routledge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Lowenthal, D. 1985. The Past Is Another Country. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mead, H. G. 1934. Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Memminger, J., ed. 2014.“Überall Geschichte!: Der Lernort Welterbe – Facetten der Regensburger Geschichtskultur.” Ripp M. and Hauer S.: Zielgruppens-pezifische Vermittlung des UNESCO-Weltkulturerbes an Kinder und Jugendliche.

  • Mühlmann, R. 2009. “Der Welterbe-Managementplan: Ein integriertes Handlungskonzept für Regensburg.” In Jahresbericht 2009 der Welterbekoordination, edited by Alexandra Fuchs, 22–25. City of Regensburg.

  • Peterkova, J. 2003. “European Cultural Identity : The Role of Cultural Heritage in the Process of Mutual Communication and Creation of Consciousness of Common Cultural Identity.”

  • Ripp, M., and S. Hauer. 2017. “A New Tool in Heritage Management Evaluation: Communication Model for Built Heritage Assets – COBA”. In Community Involvement in Heritage Management Guidebook for the OWHC Regional Secretariat Northwest Europe and North America, edited by M. Ripp and M. Göttler, 22–29. Regensburg: City of Regensburg Planning and Building Division.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ripp, M., and Göttler, M. 2016. “Conference Report.” OWHC Regional Conference in Stralsund.

  • Ripp, M., and M. Göttler, eds. 2017. Community Involvement in Heritage Management Guidebook for the OWHC Regional Secretariat Northwest Europe and North America. City of Regensburg: World Heritage Coordination.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ripp, M., and D. Rodwell. 2015. “The Geography of Urban Heritage.” The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice 6 (3): 240–276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ripp, M., and D. Rodwell. 2016. “The Governance of Urban Heritage.” The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice 7 (1): 81–108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ripp, M., E. Uli, and C. Milz. 2011. “Strategies, Policies and Tools for an Integrated World Heritage Management approach: Experiences from the City of Regensburg.” Facilities 29 (7/8): 286–302.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Samuel, R. 1994. Theatres of memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture Volume 1. London: Verso.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shalaginova, I. 2012. “Understanding heritage: A constructivist approach to heritage interpretation as a mechanism for understanding heritage sites.” PhD diss., Brandenburg University of Technology.

  • Stadt Graz. 2013. Managementplan der Stadt Graz. Stadtbaudirektion/Weltkulturerbe Koordination.

  • Trigger, B. 1988. “A Present of Their Past? Anthropologists, Native People and Their Heritage.” Culture 8 (1): 71–79.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matthias Ripp.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ripp, M., Hauer, S. Communication Model for Built Heritage Assets Going from Knowing to Identification. Built Heritage 1, 1–10 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: