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Industrial heritage, regeneration of cities and public policies in the 1990s: elements of a French/British comparison

Abstract : In west-European countries, public policies often argue that heritage - and in particular industrial heritage - could be an effective resource for economic and social development in areas that have been severely affected by de-industrialisation. During the 1990s, the French and British governments proposed two different strategies for the role that industrial heritage might have in repairing the effects of deindustrialisation. From a general point of view, the British promoted tourism, while the French preferred cultural projects. However, concrete examples, such as the ones presented in the present article, show a more complex situation. First, already at that time local authorities and local powers played an important role - especially in Great Britain - in the politics of heritage. Second, these politics are impacted by struggles and tensions between local populations and 'external' agents. Third, the local populations see these heritage-based development projects as being based on a 'mythification' of labour and of the workers' culture. Finally, local populations seem to feel that such projects are imposed from 'the outside', which tends to result in local agents not fully accepting or identifying themselves with such heritage-based projects.
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Michel Rautenberg. Industrial heritage, regeneration of cities and public policies in the 1990s: elements of a French/British comparison. International Journal of Heritage Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 18, pp.1-12. ⟨10.1080/13527258.2011.637945⟩. ⟨halshs-00721541⟩

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