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Repositioning Urban Heritage—Setting the Scene


International conventions, charters and recommendations tend to follow trends and are generally reactive to contemporary circumstances; the debates on urban heritage are no exception. These texts need to be read in the perspective of socio-economic and environmental considerations of their time together with their interdependence on other disciplines. The dramatic changes to our urban conurbations have included environmental degradation, the complexities of migrations and socio-economic transformations. Addressing these major concerns in managing urban heritage highlights the necessity for cross-disciplinarity in research and the need for adopting a more integrative attitude in the planning processes. Applying the General System Theory by the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy brings a systematic, holistic methodology from the realms of modern science into extending the historic centre and the city with a territorial approach of the metropolis allowing for sustainable and resilient rural and urban linkages. This article brings together seven contributions on issues affecting the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape The potential of the digital revolution is in the capacity of recognizing the speed and rapidity of change, and the mega-data available as affecting our lives and environment together with the role of history, tradition and continuity in linking the past to the future.


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Correspondence to Michael Turner.

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Turner, M. Repositioning Urban Heritage—Setting the Scene. Built Heritage 2, 1–6 (2018).

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  • urban heritage
  • general system theory
  • integrative planning
  • Historic Urban Landscape
  • New Urban Agenda