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Conservation and Planning: Changing Values in Policy and Practice

Edward Hobson

Published by Spon Press, 2004 | ISBN 0415278198

Conserving historic buildings continues to excite and inflame opinion. The means of protecting such buildings and areas are well established but frequently suffer a lack of wider understanding.

Conservation and Planning takes a detailed look at the way these processes have evolved and their use today by policy makers and local decision makers. The rise of the urban renaissance agenda, the crystalisation of sustainable development and the ascendancy of regional governance are all significant factors which have influenced the policy and practice of conserving historic buildings.

The interpretation of value in the built environment is also significant, with a consideration of buildings as independent artefacts often overshadowing the value in the environmental and cultural context. Few studies have examined the underlying values used to justify the policies and actions undertaken in the name of conservation.

This book presents original research into how national and local decision-makers construct and implement conservation of the built environment. The findings in this book challenge many of the assumptions supporting conservation. They suggest the conservation is marginalized in planning, through professional attitudes, procedural emphases and the lack of strategic support for conservation's added value.

The aspirations and attitudes of conservation organisations at a national policy level were surveyed and contrasted with the practical application of conservation policy in two local planning authorities in England. These two case studies were used to examine not only how national policy was interpreted subject to local considerations but also how abstract conservation values and concepts fared in their real life application.