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Built Heritage Conservation and Contemporary Urban Development:
The Contribution of Architectural Practice to the Challenges of Modernisation

Plácido González Martínez

College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

ABSTRACT  An insight into the shared history of built heritage and urban development along the 20th century reveals different attempts to solve the dialectic conflict between conservation and modernisation from the discipline of architecture. This paper makes a review of the nature, aims and results of these attempts, highlighting the contributions to the discussion that originated from Italy between the 1950s and 1980s. It points to the challenges brought by the 1972 World Heritage Convention and the extent of social, economic and urban changes that have contributed to raise awareness about urban heritage in the present time. The article departs from a value–centred framework in order to describe current architectural, cultural, economic and social issues concerning the contribution of architecture and urban planning to heritage conservation in the age of globalization. This insight will delineate new conservation practices, strategies and methodologies, especially relating to the 2011 Historic Urban Landscape Recommendation and its declared goal for sustainable urban development.


KEYWORDS  historic urban landscape, urban heritage and development, modern conservation theory, value–centred approach to urban heritage conservation, sustainability

Received 16 Dec 2016, Accepted 28 Feb 2017

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