Historic urban landscapes : framing the integration of urban and heritage planning in multilevel governance

L. Veldpaus

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Urban development and heritage management have often been positioned as opposing powers in the management of historic urban landscapes. Heritage is seen as one of the ‘usual suspects’ of local grass-roots opposition to urban development, while development pressures are perceived as endangering heritage. In heritage theory and supranational policy, the trend is to recommend a holistic, integrated and multidisciplinary management of resources, by means of a new approach in heritage management: the landscape approach. In this context, landscape is defined as an inclusive and comprehensive platform that cannot be understood or managed except through an approach that embraces all its components. An urban application of this landscape approach is the historic urban landscape (HUL) approach, which is promoted by the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape. It provides the principles as well as guidance on implementing a landscape approach in national and subnational policy. Heritage management as a cultural practice has long been primarily about conserving the fabric of the past for future generations. As such it was more concentrated on the tangible and aesthetic dimensions of heritage. Instead, the historic urban landscape approach is considered holistic- and development-minded. It is not about allowing (or disallowing) transformation in itself, but about establishing and guiding the nature of the transformation. It addresses the future quality of the urban landscape and the relationships forming it. It positions heritage as an active change agent in the process of urban management. However, implementation on the national or subnational level proves to be a great challenge. The main aim of this thesis is to raise understanding of the integration of urban and heritage planning in multilevel governance, and in particular to explore ways to best reveal the relations between supranational and subnational policy. Heritage management is often subject to multilevel governance. A substantial body of laws, principles and policy guidelines, ranging from supra- to subnational levels are developed in this context. There is, however, a lack of systematic methods for comparative policy research in the field of cultural heritage. This hinders an understanding of policy transfer (vertical and horizontal) on a scale that goes beyond the case study, which then interferes with the feedback loop back into the supranational policies. In this research, a domain dependent taxonomy of heritage was identified in supranational policies. The taxonomy was used to develop a method of cross-referencing taxonomy, which was applied in a policy analysis tool. This tool can be used to analyse, classify and compare subnational urban and heritage policy policies. It facilitates the systematic identification of heritage concepts in policy. The tool was tested in Amsterdam by means of a series of three focus group interviews, held to introduce, apply and validate it. The results confirm the tool’s utility to cross-relate policies in multilevel governance. It allowed the interviewees to assess and reflect upon their policies and decide whether to revise them, in a constructive and evidence-based manner. While further research is needed to refine and optimize the taxonomy and its application in the policy analysis tool, it already promises to have applications beyond its initial aims. Vertical and horizontal comparison of policy provides input for evidence-based heritage planning and policy. The wider field of heritage significance and impact assessments could also benefit from exploring the application further.
Originele taal-2Engels
KwalificatieDoctor in de Filosofie
Toekennende instantie
  • Department of the Built Environment
Begeleider(s)/adviseur
  • Colenbrander, Bernard J.F., Promotor
  • Roders, Ana, Co-Promotor
  • van Wesemael, Pieter J.V., Commissielid
Datum van toekenning28 sep 2015
Plaats van publicatieEindhoven
Uitgever
Gedrukte ISBN's978-90-386-3916-1
StatusGepubliceerd - 2015

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