Dr James Lesh discusses the role of place use in heritage protection

Of more than 2,300 items on the Victorian Heritage Register, about 10% are listed for their social value. In this op-ed ACAHUCH post-doctoral fellow Dr James Lesh opines the importance of social heritage during the process of heritage protection and conservation of place.

As we continue to retreat further and further away from each other during these isolated times, there is continued dialogue about the role and importance of public spaces in the future, in terms of their performance, significance, and placemaking ability.

Further, the politically charged environment currently taking centre stage is often centric around our public infrastructure and built environment, and has led to a renewed sense of community, an interrogation of history, and the place that monuments, architecture, and the built environment can have in our collective experience of the city. The culturally associated memory of place is of particular relevance. Lesh notes:

It’s important, too, to embed community participation across private sector heritage practice. Only by working towards more holistically conserving the broader cultural values of historic places can heritage achieve cultural stewardship for people.

Parliament MelbourneThe article further elaborates on the benefits that public-led consultation, participatory design approaches and social capital can have in regards to heritage, especially when they have a strong presence in the public realm. This approach is particularly applicable to 19th century public buildings, such as Parliament located in Melbourne, both now and into the future.

The article can be found here. The research that informed the article can be found here.
See more of Dr Lesh's work here.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock
Inline Image Credit : Luis Enrique Ascui / AAP