Aspects of social imperative: The sustainable historic environment in the developing world.

Whelan, Deborah (2017) Aspects of social imperative: The sustainable historic environment in the developing world. In: Going beyond: perceptions of sustainability in heritage studies. Heritage Studies (2). Springer, pp. 175-188. ISBN 9783319571652, 9783319571645

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Heritage in post-apartheid South Africa, as with many post-colonial territories is highly politicised and contested (Coombes 2003, Tomaselli & Mpofu 1997, De Jong 2008). It tends, on occasion to the irrational, and endeavours at times to celebrate the non-existent in order to reinforce political agendas. In addition, the diversity of cultures, ethnic groups, religions and languages make objective and inclusive heritage identification and its management complex. Colonial heritages particularly, are seriously at risk: whilst this is to be expected, mitigation to minimalise risk is vital in order to retain authenticity and contextual integrity. It is thus that perhaps the most fundamental aspect of heritage and culture in developing nations is social sustainability, since this supports corrupt or inept legislative initiatives from below. This paper will address the story of heritage preservation in two “townships” in which colonial era buildings form the core of the urban fabric in the precinct. One, in Georgetown, Edendale, failed and one at Montrose House, Mpophomeni, succeeded. For the author, the key to the success was not the able intervention of mid-level policies, implementation of legislation and able authorities, but people-driven, grassroots projects with a similar goal, and operating heritage using a development approach in order to achieve goals.

Keywords:social sustainability, development, public participation
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K990 Architecture, Building and Planning not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L540 Community Work
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
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ID Code:29001
Deposited On:11 Oct 2017 14:59

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