Recycling of industrial heritage: promoting local diversity and cohesion in globalising cities

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Abstract Summary
The shift towards knowledge economy accompanied with the flow of people, capital and goods has manifold effects on urban development. On the one hand, cities are becoming more alike: in chasing for profit, global capitalism imposes spatial patterns that lack distinctiveness. On the other hand, network society makes people living in a global village, thus bringing multiculturalism to the fore. Consequently, continuous change and replacement of urban layers lead to multiple losses: of readability, of local diversity, and, finally, of identity of a place. To tackle the issue of preserving local identity in a globalising world, we place an emphasis on industrial heritage and the effect of its recycling on a local urban area. As industrial areas keep memory and deep-seated associations for local residents and communities, they play an important role in defining the identity of both the place and its inhabitants. To recycle industrial heritage means to alter obsolete industrial area using its available, useable material, thus making the site suitable for the new function. Recycling differs from both preservation (that persists in maintaining status quo) and the total demolition of an area (in order to build it from scratch). Recycling of an industrial site with historic value, thus, make an important contribution to regeneration of urban areas and has a range of social benefits: recycled districts reinforce local cultures, instil a greater sense of pride and confidence among its inhabitants, and retain cohesion in globalising cities. Finally, recycled industrial areas usually become the hubs of creative industry, thus fostering the local economy based on knowledge in contrast to pure touristic area as a manifestation of global consumption.
Abstract ID :
ISO345
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Associated Sessions

Senior Researcher
,
ETH Zurich, Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development

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