News Release

Historic urban Landscape Paradigm—A tool for balancing values and changes in the urban conservation process

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Higher Education Press

Industrial structures and sculptures in the urban reclamation project of Yangpu River in Shanghai


Industrial structures and sculptures in the urban reclamation project of Yangpu River in Shanghai.

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Credit: Ken Taylor

Today, for the first time in human history, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. Coincidentally, within the field of cultural heritage conservation, increasing international interest and attention over the past two decades has been focused on urban areas. This is timely because the pressure for economic development and for the prioritizing of engagement with the global economy have accompanied rapid urbanization. In many societies, economic development has privileged modernization efforts leading to the loss of traditional communities. Accompanying this has been a concentration in the field of urban conservation on famous buildings and monuments rather than seeing cities as communities of people with values and belief systems that are reflected in a city’s overall setting: its cultural landscape. The Historic Urban Landscape approach is intended to address this distinction by critically discussing city communities, and how they are reservoirs of human memory and identity. This raises the question of the role of nostalgia in the field of urban conservation studies: is nostalgia an important phenomenon in understanding how the past is both brought to bear on the present and on the development of social and political agendas for the future? This article explores alternative ways of seeing cities particularly through the Historic Urban Landscape paradigm.


The work entitled “Historic Urban Landscape Paradigm —A Tool for Balancing Values and Changes in the Urban Conservation Process” was published on the journal of Landscape Architecture Frontiers.

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