Smart heritage: Defining the discourse

David Batchelor, Marc Aurel Schnabel, Michael Dudding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The academic literature contains an increasing quantity of references to Smart Heritage. These references are at the intersection of the smart city and heritage disciplines and primarily within informative, interpretative, and governance applications. The literature indicates the future expansion of the Smart Heritage discourse into additional applications as researchers apply smart technology to more complex cultural environments. The Smart Heritage discourse signals an advancement in the literature beyond Digital Heritage and Virtual Heritage discourses as Smart Heritage pivots on the active curatorship of heritage experiences by automated and autonomous technologies, rather than technology as a passive digital tool for human-curated experiences. The article comprehensively reviews the emergent Smart Heritage discourse for the first time in the academic literature, and then offers a contemporary definition that considers the literature to date. The review and definition draw on literature across the contributing disciplines to understand the discourse’s development and current state. The article finds that Smart Heritage is an independent discourse that intertwines the autonomous and automatic capabilities and innovation of smart technologies with the contextual and subjective interpretation of the past. Smart Heritage is likely the future vanguard for research between the technology and heritage disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1015
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Digital heritage
  • Heritage
  • Smart city
  • Smart heritage


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart heritage: Defining the discourse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this