CFP: Sustainability and heritage

Sustainability and heritage: how can the past contribute to a sustainable future?

International conference - 29-30th May 2012

Orkney College, University of the Highlands and Islands
Kirkwall, Scotland

Heritage is recognised as being vitally important to sustainability. Heritage reflects our ongoing relationship with the environment and plays a role in defining modern culture and identity. It is not thus simply concerned with the past but is about balancing conservation and change today and in the future. Sustainability is best understood through long-term perspectives on the interactions of people and environment. This reflexive relationship is crucial to inform future practice and research in sustainable development and cultural environment management, and for promoting cultural diversity, sustainability literacy and education. Heritage is embedded in place and forms a strong link between humans and local landscapes. Heritage thus provides an important avenue to place based learning, education for sustainability, and developing a genuine sense of stewardship and management for the long term future. With ever diminishing resources, especially with respect to the impacts of climate change, there is now a real need for innovation in methods of assessing, monitoring, and valuing heritage, for developing new approaches to education and heritage and, moreover, for critically appraising what the past can contribute to the future sustainability of society.

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss and critically analyse Heritage and Sustainability through presentations, posters and round table discussion, under the following themes:

  • Medium-long term trajectories (millennial-centennial scales) of key sustainability issues such as resource utilisation, and the impacts of climate/environmental change in communities in the past;
  • Heritage and resource management, sustainable development and participation;
  • The role and potential of heritage in education for sustainability and in underpinning sustainability literacy initiatives (such as Education for Sustainable Development & Education For Sustainability).

Submission of abstracts

Please submit paper and poster abstracts of maximum 300 words, the contact details of all authors, and a correspondence address, by 29th February 2012. Submit to Conference Secretary: For further details on the conference

Conference organisers

Jane Downes, Ingrid Mainland, Julie Gibson & Martin Price, University of the Highlands & Islands; Tom McGovern & Sophia Perdikaris, City University of New York; Ian Simpson & Richard Oram, University of Stirling; Andy Dugmore, University of Edinburgh; Julie Bond & Steve Dockrill, University of Bradford.


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