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Workshop on Heritage and Changing Environments

Information about the Workshop 4: Changing Environments

UNESCO identifies changes to the environment as one of the major challenges for the future that block the road towards sustainable development. These changes will also of course affect heritage in every respect.  Climate change, in particular global warming, will have pervasive consequences for all landscapes, calling for the development of alternative, sustainable energy sources and for new water management systems. Also, landscapes will undergo thorough transformations with increasing urbanisation and de-industrialisation, impacting urban and rural geographies alike, from historic city centres to industrial plants and agricultural and pastoral land use patterns. Adaptation to these changes through spatial planning is vital, but the opportunities for and challenges to heritage design are still poorly investigated. In this Heriland work package attention is focused on the role of heritage in environmental adaptation, in particular with regard to urban-rural interactions and the future of post-industrial landscapes.

Heriland ESRs of the Work Package on Changing Environments

Marta Ducci is a PhD candidate based at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her case study concerns the fairly rapid transformation process of part of Apulia, in southern Italy, a rural area prone to desertification, energy transition and an all invasive plant disease. Heritage plays an important role in one of the major adaptive strategies proposed for this region, i.e.  (slow) heritage tourism. Marta investigates how digital mapping tools can be used to engage local communities in planning heritage and tourist strategies to counter decline and decay.


Maitri Dore is a PhD candidate based at the University of Gothenburg. She focuses on large infrastructural works in urban landscapes. Her main case study consists of the construction of a train tunnel in Gothenburg, the West Link, intended to change the urban transport and travel landscape, yet also affecting the cultural-historical environment of parts of the city that it passes through. Her research analyses the integration of heritage aspects in the urban projects. Specific attention is paid to collaborative processes and professional strategies to achieve integrative results in the overall design and outcome.


Anna Tonk is a PhD candidate based at Newcastle University, in the North of England. She focuses on heritage stakeholder’s perception of their changing environments in rural deindustrialised areas. Her main case-studies are Nääs in the South-West of Sweden and Gayle Mill in the Yorkshire Dales in England. On a theoretical and practice level, Anna critically investigates local ‘future imaginaries’ in relation to the changing environment to map the perceived possibilities and boundaries for a connected heritage and landscape approach that could enable future resilience. 

Invited Guest Speaker

Francesco Rotondo is an associate professor of urban planning and design at the University Politecnica delle Marche in Italy, President of Apulian Section of Italian Urban Planning Institute ( He is the author of 150 national and international articles, 4 books. He is teaching urban planning from 2004 and he is the author of ten general master plan in medium cities in the South of Italy. He has been the director of the urban planning and building office of the municipality of Taranto until 2019. His research is mainly devoted to urban regeneration and ICT for collaborative planning.

Workshop Structure

Aims of the workshop


The workshop aims to engage the participants over the challenges and approaches in relation to different environments (rural landscapes, urban environment and post-industrial areas), and spark discussion about the overarching question of the role of heritage in cases of environmental change.





Round 1: Presentations of the case studies and questions.

  • Francesco: Planning landscapes in transition: themes and problems Challenge: ongoing landscape transformations, conflicting interests/values landscape heritage. Heritage research. Your approach: critical analysis comparative analysis; geostatistical analysis. 
  • Marta: Apulia cultural landscape, Italy. Challenge: ongoing landscape transformations, conflicting interests/values or ideas about planning cultural landscape and heritage tourism; who defines, plans and manages heritage. Heritage research: co-creative mapping/workshops.
  • Maitri: Case: West Link, Gothenburg. Challenge: conflicting values in heritage planning, assigning values and negotiating various interests; heritage research. Your approach: critical analysis.
  • Anna: Case: Nääs area, South-West Sweden. Challenge: Renegotiating heritage and landscape values in relation to sustainability and future environmental change. Your approach: Theoretical argument with empirical support for how heritage can be an active connective contributor to realising a sustainable, ‘desirable’ future. 
  • Q&A



Coffee break



Round 2 : ​​Discussion and document creation.

Based on their personal interest or experience participants will be divided into smaller groups which will use the case studies presented as a base for common discussion over suggested topics.


Group 1: Case: Planning landscapes in transition:Xylella invasion in South of Italy

Group 2: Case: Apulia cultural landscape, Italy – Rural environment

Group 3: Case: West Link, Gothenburg – Urban environment

Group 4: Case: Nääs cultural landscape, South-West Sweden – Urban Fringe/Rural environment


Participants discuss the case/context in relation to the following suggested points:

  • Values/assets to include or exclude in the planning
  • Participants to involve 
  • How to involve them 
  • Challenges/threats/constraints
  • Connection to societal issues/sustainable development



Lunch break



Coffee and work. Participants wrap up Round 2 among themselves and finalise the document to share with the larger group.



Round 3 : Presentations of the results and common discussion.

Each group presents the results of their discussion (visual and oral) to the others, with time for exchange and questions.