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Sustainable development of culturally significant urban areas

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Anke Plagnol.

The traditional western attitude to the category of built cultural heritage is changing. The shift in the understanding of the category from historic fabric to social phenomenon requires different management of culturally significant areas. More participatory approaches to conservation are debated in the literature and practiced in different parts of the world. Social and environmental impact assessment tools, used to facilitate decision-makers in planning decisions, provide an appropriate participatory-based framework. It is argued that in the context of culturally significant areas they require a tailored process, based on the identified significance (or set of values) of a place. This research looks in particular at the experiences of World Heritage sites in their assessment and management practices of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). OUV in this case represents a model for different heritage values. Experts’ opinions and the literature advocate for a more integrated, values-based approach.

Several questions are open for discussion: • How to address social values, attached to built cultural heritage, in an impact assessment process? • Which emerging actors have an opportunity to play a more significant role in new approaches to conservation? • Should we consider all heritage as intangible (in terms of memories, associations etc.), what are the implications for urban planning and management practices? • Heritage perception in different cultures?

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars series.

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