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Heritagescaping and the aesthetics of refuge: challenges to urban sustainability
chapterposted on 2015-10-01, 00:00 authored by Tim Winter
The year 2012 marked the fortieth anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The choice of “sustainable development and the role of communities” as the theme of the fortieth anniversary reflected some of the significant problems and challenges that continue to face this arena of cultural and spatial governance. Cities remain particularly challenging, and evictions, punitive legislation, rising living costs, and loss of community are the now familiar by-products of World Heritage that continue to go undocumented and ignored. Against this backdrop, this chapter traces recent developments and trends surrounding urban heritage conservation, highlighting the turns towards community-driven approaches and recent discourses of sustainability, with a particular focus on where such problems take on critical importance: small-scale urban environments. Focusing on Galle in Sri Lanka, the final part of the chapter explores the emergence of a form of “heritagescaping” oriented by an esthetics of solitude, tranquillity, and quiet comfort.