Living in an Old City: Practice and theory in urban heritage

Author(s): Sefryn Penrose

Year: 2016


Half of the world’s population now lives in cities. But the heritage of the city can be seen as redundant: a problem to be solved through the right planning mechanism.

Urban heritage practice has barely changed for 25 years. It privileges buildings and public realm, tourism, economics. It presumes preservation of fabric. Familiar orthodoxies dominate: ‘urban grain’; ‘the right materials’. It’s western centric. Taste is policed: there is a homogeneity to ‘heritage’.

But this has not been how we think about cities for some time. It is not how heritage is thought about. Heritage is never about a static past.

What would a different perspective practically entail? We propose looking at the city through different lenses: movements/theories/discussions that to some extent have been ‘dealt with’ in heritage discourse, but have not made an impact in the field. We imagine heritage in urban placemaking if practice and theory were to meet. 

Cite this Record

Living in an Old City: Practice and theory in urban heritage. Sefryn Penrose. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434507)


cities heritage Urban

Geographic Keywords
United Kingdom Western Europe

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 904