Bridging the gap between conservation and community: evidence from two cases in Suzhou and Shanghai

EHESS - Salle 681  -  190-198, avenue de France  -  75013 Paris
Comprehensive redevelopment of brownfield sites involving a large amount of demolition has been a common phenomenon occurring in many Chinese cities. Recently the embedded economic value of historical structures and places has been brought to the attention of many local authorities after some pioneer conservation projects attained success in generating high financial returns. Undeniably, in the vast majority of cases, heritage-led regeneration projects in China are undertaken with the aim of exploiting the economic potential of historic buildings, sites and cities. What have been often ignored in the decision-making process of heritage conservation as well as designation, however, are the social values attached to a historic place and/or the social costs paid to transforming the place.

This talk will share some observations on the disconnected relationship between the new conservation practice and stakeholder communities in China. It will present two study cases in Suzhou and Shanghai that exemplify the dissonant voices of the general public about what constitutes heritage, and for what and whom we conserve.


  • Giulio Verdini and Yiwen Wang, Department of Urban Planning of Design of the Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University, Suzhou.
  • le jeudi 11 juillet 2013 à 14h
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