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Volume 2 Supplement 4

Historic Urban Landscape: An Approach to Rethinking Urban Heritage

Modern Heritage, the Other, and the Anthropocene


The 20th century was modernism’s century; a comparatively fleeting moment in which the human race’s transition to an urbanised species created an entirely new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The existential challenge for our species in the 21st century will be to transform the modern city into a site of truly sustainable human habitation. This challenge requires us to engage critically with the past in a way that serves the needs of the future, globally and permanently. The Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL) approach, together with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and UN Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, offers a framework for meeting this challenge and, critically, to change our relationship with both the past and the future.


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Correspondence to Edward Denison.

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Denison, E. Modern Heritage, the Other, and the Anthropocene. Built Heritage 2, 31–41 (2018).

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  • modernism
  • heritage
  • Anthropocene
  • multiple modernities
  • Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL)
  • the other