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Cities, Change, and Conflict

Industrial Heritage Sites

Symposium at ANCB

There have always been conflicts between monument protection and contemporary architecture in the (re)use of historical buildings. Nowadays an increasing challenge is given through the demand for successful economical urban development along the (re)use of the built heritage of former industrial sites. At that creative actors and creative industries - often rejecting development objectives - are part of the transformation processes.

These four perspectives: monument protection, contemporary architecture, urban development, creative industries seem to be in conflict due to their different objectives when dealing with the industrial heritage. However, all of them are often quested for transformation processes of industrial sites all over Europe, as it can be recognized e.g. at Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Sulzer Areal in Winterthur or Liverpool etc. In all cases the question is whether the diverse perspectives do have a common ground on which careful change and (re)use of the industrial heritage can be established.

All researchers of the field are kindly invited to discuss the question at the Symposium Cities and Change and Conflict in Berlin.

The symposium aims at exchanging experiences and best-practices as well as deepening the understanding of the conflicts and potentials which lie in the constellation of the four different perspectives. In reference to three thematic points different concepts and cases dealing with the industrial heritage and its (re)use will be discussed. It will be looked at approaches constituting a common ground in order to clarify the public and the professional discussion and the planning practice.
1.     Architecture, Place-Making, and Urban Development
Nowadays images and brands seem to be necessary for every city to attract attention in a globalized world. In this context historical but also contemporary architecture serve more as iconic images and less as related architecture. But isn’t there also the possibility to use architecture for a careful and attractive interpretation of places and their heritage connecting past, present and future?
2.     Conservation and Change
In this panel concepts and strategies aiming at preservation and change are introduced in its theoretical as well as practical implications. These approaches fall into a new acknowledgment of culture as a factor to shape urban space. In this context the protection of monuments can be newly activated and legitimized, although the concepts of culture may be different due to their perspectives.
3.     Industrial Heritage and Creative Industries
Creative Industries are seen as important triggers for urban prosperity within the knowledge societies, although the concept of creative industries embrace heterogeneous institutions, actors and markets, posing different challenges regarding the use of industrial heritage. Some demand for open space and slim bureaucracy facilitating easy access, temporary uses and urban pioneering. Others strain the municipal budget in order to establish and run museums. Most of them foster the question of appropriate and sustainable use and careful development strategies for industrial heritages.