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ESR Anna Tonk presents at University of Gothenburg: “Future-making in post-industrial landscapes: Challenges of a changing historic urban landscape”

Anna Tonk will give a presentation at the Department of Conservation on the 27th of October from 15:00 – 17:00 (CEST), which can be followed on Zoom. For more information and the Zoom-link visit the website of University of Gothenburg.

Abstract from Anna Tonk:

This presentation will act as an introduction to my research on entanglements of landscape, sustainability, and the future in the post-industrial landscape through the lens of heritage practice. The research is conducted inherently through an interdisciplinary approach in the field of Critical Heritage Studies, and so gathering data has been, and will be done through interviews, document analysis and drawing workshops about perceptions of the future trajectory of the landscape. A main conceptual argument, inspired by Harrison and Holtorf (2020), is that of landscape and heritage as a future-making process. Through a preliminary analysis of fieldwork done in the post-industrial neighbourhood Ouseburn, in the North of England and the landscape of Nääs in Sweden it is shown how changes in rural and urban development are perceived as through changes in climate, the built fabric, the social fabric, productivity, and power. For now the focus is linking the issues in both landscapes to gentrification and posits heritage as a double-edged sword in relation to the current changes and challenges in the post-industrial landscape.                

This research started with the aim of constructing an argument for the benefits of landscape approaches to create sustainable environments through heritage practice, but it has changed since then as it is slowly becoming a critique of neoliberal planning systems in Europe, in turn affecting how post-industrial landscapes develop. The aim is to open a dialogue about how heritage can become an active agent in changing our environments to sustainable cultural landscapes that foster environmental justice instead of being co-opted by the same neoliberalisation.

Keywords: post-industrial landscapes, heritage practice, critical heritage studies, rural and urban gentrification, neoliberalism. 


Harrison, R. & et. al. (2020) Heritage Futures: Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices. London: UCL Press.

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