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Thinking against Heritage: speculative development and emancipatory politics in the City of London

Gassner, Gunter 2019. Thinking against Heritage: speculative development and emancipatory politics in the City of London. Journal of Urbanism 12 (3) , pp. 279-295. 10.1080/17549175.2019.1576757
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Abstract

What does a political conceptualisation of the relationship between urban development and heritage involve? Against the widespread idea that there is a conflict between densification and the protection of historic buildings and sites in the City of London, I show that a conservative heritage discourse promotes the construction of speculative towers. Arguing against a City that is privately owned, self-competing and socially homogeneous, I develop a democratic understanding of history that contests an essentialist reading of the city and challenges the idea that speculative developments direct attention to and visually enhance historic landmarks. Aligning historical analysis with political critique, I draw on the work of Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault and discuss notions of “historical events” and “cultural treasures” in order to think against the prevailing speculative logic in the city.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1754-9175
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 November 2018
Date of Acceptance: 7 November 2018
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:01
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/116651

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