Cultural Landscapes: Preservation Challenges in the 21st Century will bring together leading scholars and practitioners form around the world to examine five core themes around the concept, implementation, and management of cultural landscapes and historic urban landscapes. The conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum for forward-looking approaches to 21stcentury challenges, with the objective of mapping strategies for a ten-year plan of action within these areas. Participants will present papers that will be revised, edited, and combined with six significant case studies and commentaries for publication.
The conference provides a unique opportunity in time and place for the United States to reaffirm its presence within the international arena of cultural heritage preservation. Cultural landscapes and historic urban landscapes are at the nexus of current efforts in the United States to address our diverse cultural heritage and to revitalize the livability of the nation’s communities through preservation of the authentic sense of place. Rutgers University, founded in 1766 and New Jersey’s land-grant institution, is an ideal setting for the exploration of these issues.
Rutgers’s Graduate Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS), Art History, and the School of Arts and Sciences will sponsor the conference.
National Park Service, Penn Cultural Heritage Center (UPenn) , the Columbia Historic Preservation Program (Columbia),the Center for Art and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School (Princeton), the International Institute for Cultural Property (Princeton), the Center Heritage and Society (UMass/Amherst), Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World (Brown University), Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (Rutgers), the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Rutgers), the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (Rutgers), The Initiative on Climate and Society (Rutgers), Rutgers Law School, Newark, and Preservation New Jersey.
About Cultural Landscapes and Historic Urban Landscapes
Constituting “combined works of nature and humankind [that] express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment,” cultural landscapes are defined by human relationships to place as much as by physical features. They embody diverse interactions between humans and their environment, seek to protect living traditional cultures, and preserve the traces of cultures that have disappeared.
Cultural landscapes provide a new perspective that challenges traditional notions of historic preservation by taking a dynamic multifaceted approach to conservation. Academics within the humanities and humanistic social sciences are joining with conservation and preservation professionals to rethink the meaning and practice of heritage conservation, encourage international cooperation and stimulate collaborative research and scholarship. The UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), which was approved by the 17th General Assembly of ICOMOS in November 2011, applies this interdisciplinary “cultural landscape approach” to urban settings as well, as a way to engage with the multiple aspects of urban historic conservation.
Nonetheless, there remain significant challenges. Terrorism, war, and religious and ethnic conflict combine with the challenges of population growth and migrations, climate change, the explosion of domestic and international tourism, and unsustainable consumption of resources. Rapid urbanization, socio-economic change, and the difficulties of continuing traditional forms of use within rural or urban settings threaten the sense of place and identity of communities.
Cultural Landscapes: Preservation Challenges in the 21st Century will provide an international forum for engaging these issues.
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