Sandra L. LÓPEZ VARELA, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
Keywords: Heritage Preservation, Economic Growth, Community Engagement, Social Media
Mexico has invested in infrastructure building to combat poverty levels, creating a modern built environment that has been appropriated by its citizens and that are now part of their heritage. Since Mexico still preserves heritage in terms of its monumentality and relevance to its history, modern heritage resources oppose the national definition of heritage and are the main the main source of conflict during infrastructure planning and building, sending people to the streets demanding their preservation. Analyzing the economic context in which digital technologies have developed, Alternative Mexico considers not everyone in developing countries has access to its benefits. Therefore, “Alternative Mexico” is a project that has developed a free native mobile application for iOS and Android platforms and available on their app stores, in addition to a web site (https://www.mexicoalternativounam.com). The application takes you to a menu listing the areas where heritage resources have been recorded. Clicking into the selected item takes you to an active or an offline Google map, pinpointing each heritage resource, displaying a simple and engaging text in Spanish and English, and a photograph or one can head to that point and visit the resource directly. The followed methodology compensates the digital divide by consolidating a strategic alliance with Mexico’s citizens through a value chain teaching-research transfer, in which students enrolled in heritage preservation courses recover the silenced voices of what heritage means to society and to be incorporated into the digital world. This is what makes us different from other projects. Drawing from its recent assessment, which will be discussed here, it is possible to state that considering people’s heritage is the best heritage management practice to promote social sustainability and peace.