This paper questions the common perception within heritage science that the environment is seen primarily as a risk factor that can change or impact heritage. The purpose of this paper is to reconceptualise the relationship between heritage and the environment within an Earth System Science framework, enabling a more sustainable approach for understanding and conserving heritage sites to be implemented.
To explore the relationship between heritage and the environment, this paper considers how perceptions of the environment within heritage science have been shaped in response to the conservation challenges facing movable heritage. Furthermore, as heritage encompasses a wide array of immovable buildings and sites whose relationships with the environment are complex and nuanced, this paper premises that the environment cannot be considered separately from heritage as it is intrinsically related by: providing components of heritage; modifying heritage; being modified by heritage; adding to heritage value; and acting as a co-creator of heritage.
This paper proposes that heritage science should learn from, and work within, the well-established Earth System Science framework. This enables interactions and feedbacks between heritage and components of the environment to be explored across a range of scales.
This systems-based approach allows heritage science to consider the environment more holistically and sustainably within its research and practice and better equips it to conserve movable and immovable heritage in the Anthropocene.
This paper provides a novel approach for viewing the relationship between heritage and the environment by using a well-established framework from other highly interdisciplinary fields.
Richards, J., Orr, S. and Viles, H. (2019), "Reconceptualising the relationships between heritage and environment within an Earth System Science framework", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHMSD-08-2019-0099Download as .RIS
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