Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings of Urban Heritage
March 31 – April 4, 2016
In the context of rapid cultural and economic globalisation, over half of the World’s population now live in urban areas. Through rural migration, new economic opportunities and enhanced global mobilities, cities and towns have expanded dramatically resulting in challenges to their character and identity. Visible changes in skylines and boundaries are also accompanied by less obvious shifts in how cities preserve, present and promote their pasts and traditions against fierce and competitive demands for space. Urban heritage, as the valued tangible and intangible legacies of the past, would appear to be an increasingly important asset for communities and governments alike, allowing cities to mark their distinctiveness, attract tourists and inward investment and, retain a historical narrative that feeds into the quality of life. At the same time, new heritage – the heritage of the future – is being created in cities and towns. This reflects the patterns and trends of wider economic, social and cultural change and is resulting in ‘starchitecture’ and new iconic structures, but also in small scale interventions whereby communities are creating and nurturing buildings, objects, spaces and practices that have meaning and value to them.
In this context, this conference seeks to examine the processes of protecting, planning and promoting urban heritage in the face of on-going changes, pressures and opportunities at the global and the local level. We wish to better understand the ways in which heritage can be mobilised in the development of city well-being and the changing approaches to how it is managed, taking into account issues of ownership, responsibility, local and national economies and identities. Critically we address the question of long term sustainability and pose the question of what will future residents, communities and tourists inherit from their towns and cities?
The Conference aims to provide critical dialogue beyond disciplinary boundaries and we invite papers from all disciplines and fields including: anthropology, architecture, archaeology, art history, cultural geography, cultural studies, design, ethnology and folklore, economics, history, heritage studies, landscape studies, leisure studies, museum studies, philosophy, political science, sociology, tourism studies, urban history, urban/spatial planning.
We welcome perspectives on all aspects of urban heritage / heritage in the urban context – world heritage, historic urban landscapes, colonial heritage, religious heritage, intangible heritage and traditions, museum heritage, food heritage etc. Potential themes of interest include:
- Innovative modalities of protection and planning urban heritage
- Community approaches to and uses of, urban heritage
- City based tourism and visitor economies of urban heritage
- Urban heritage as a form of social resistance
- Heritage as city memory
- Cosmopolitan urban heritage and re-creating identities
- Global and mega-city competition through heritage
- Revitalising the city through heritage
- Sub-urban and sub-altern heritage
- Urban spaces, traditions and intangible heritage
Please send a 300 word abstract of your paper with a clear title and full contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible before 4 December 2015.