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vi    Preface

                              It  was  a  collective  learning process,  where  there  was no  distinction  between
                            professors and students, but rather all students, learning together about those in-
                            tangible assets for seeding local community engagement in the UBH valorisation
                            process.  People  from  multiple  European  countries,  both  eastern  and  western,
                            showed a vast range of cultural differences, not just on a personal basis but also in
                            their knowledge, opinions, and ways of thinking. Trainers and trainees enthusias-
                            tically  studied  together,  through  interactive  lectures  on  theories,  methodologies
                            and experiences, and research teamwork. For the action members, those lectures
                            became an opportunity to better clarify the overall approach, and to question theo-
                            retical and methodological weaknesses. For the trainees, it was a valuable oppor-
                            tunity  to  behold  and  appreciate  the  fascinating  and  rich  heritage  of  the  under-
                            ground,  and  learn how  empowering local  communities  can  be  beneficial  to  the
                            heritage valorisation process.
                              The enthusiasm and dedication of our trainees resulted in a number of detailed
                            proposals of real-life case studies collected here, also thanks to the support of the
                            tutors who successively became full members of the research teams and lead them
                            in the very intensive and interactive effort of creating a research idea and explicat-
                            ing it through a poster.
                              This Handbook attempts to provide a first insight of this collective learning ex-
                            perience. It includes the lectures held during the training school, in relation to the
                            COST Action Underground4value, and its main topic, the UBH, the technologic
                            needs,  and  the  approaches  for  UBH  conservation,  valorisation,  and  decision-
                            making. The second part of the Handbook explores the four case studies investi-
                            gated during the first year of the Action, from the perspective of local partners and
                            of the researchers who embarked on a short-term scientific mission to each area
                            They provide an account of the challenges they faced to organise living labs, in-
                            volve local stakeholders, manage meetings, and achieve results.
                              The final part of the Handbook presents the posters produced as a result of the
                            school and the ideas behind them.
                              Thus, this book is a research, project and management tool based on scientific
                            comparison and experiences in real situations.
                              This Handbook will be implemented every year with the scope of developing
                            new training modules for planners, local community  facilitators, promoters, and
                            decision-makers to integrate knowledge  on underground space, cultural heritage
                            studies and community-based planning.
                              In line with COST objectives, it responds to the need for involvement and en-
                            hancement of  young researchers, organised in research and project groups, who
                            co-authored the results and texts.
                              It develops shared operational lines in different areas of Europe, taking into ac-
                            count  territorial  specificities  and  the  different  degree  of  exploitation  achieved,
                            thanks to the participation of researchers and professionals from diverse milieux.
                              We can achieve such objectives if we follow a path that begins by clarifying
                            the sense and the cultural and social perspective of valorisation activities.
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