WIT Press

Structural Change, Cultural Heritage And Place


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WIT Press


K. Olsson & T. Hasic


In the last few decades, many cities have experienced structural change with deindustrialisation and public closure as a result. Strategies for regeneration include investments in infrastructures for production, consumption and communication. The transformation process results in deteriorated urban environments, and a change in the use and understanding of the urban landscape. The article discusses structural change and infrastructure planning, and its consequences for cultural heritage and the sense of place. We take the theoretical position that an understanding of place is crucial for sustainable heritage management, and that cultural meanings are generated through a combination of people – place interactions in time and space. Empirical findings are based on a case study of infrastructure planning and heritage management in the town of Söderhamn in northern Sweden. The analysis shows that the planning and management refers to space rather than to qualities of place. A tentative model is presented to draw attention to the importance of comprehensive analysis of investments in infrastructure and its consequences for cultural heritage. Keywords: structural change, cultural heritage, space and place, urban transformation, infrastructure planning. 1 Introduction In the last few decades western economies have left the industrial society and entered a postfordist society. In short, globalisation, European integration, increased mobility for individuals and firms, de-industrialisation and a growing importance of service-sectors, such as entertainment, culture, tourism and education, have altered the nature of urban and regional economies. The construction of place is also a characteristic of urban transformation in many contemporary cities and towns from being centres of production to being centres of consumption [1]. As a consequence of this, many Swedish cities and towns


structural change, cultural heritage, space and place, urban transformation, infrastructure planning.