Modern Heritage, the Other, and the Anthropocene
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Edward Denison

The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, London, United Kingdom
Email: e.denison@ucl.ac.uk


ABSTRACT  The 20th century was modernism’s century; a comparatively fleeting moment in which the human
race’s transition to an urbanised species created an entirely new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The existential
challenge for our species in the 21st century will be to transform the modern city into a site of truly sustainable
human habitation. This challenge requires us to engage critically with the past in a way that serves the needs of the
future, globally and permanently. The Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL) approach, together with the UN’s Sustainable
Development Goals and UN Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, offers a framework for meeting this challenge and,
critically, to change our relationship with both the past and the future.

KEYWORDS  Modernism, heritage, Anthropocene, multiple modernities, Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL), the other, UNESCO.

Received October 24, 2018; accepted November 27, 2018.