People-Centred Methodologies for Heritage Conservation Exploring Emotional Attachments to Historic Urban Places

This book presents methodological approaches that can help explore the ways in which people develop emotional attachments to historic urban places.

With a focus on the powerful relations that form between people and places, this book uses people-centred methodologies to examine the ways in which emotional attachments can be accessed, researched, interpreted and documented as part of heritage scholarship and management. It demonstrates how a range of different research methods drawn primarily from disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences can be used to better understand the cultural values of heritage places. In so doing, the chapters bring together a series of diverse case studies from both established and early-career scholars in Australia, China, Europe, North America and Central America. These case studies outline methods that have been successfully employed to consider attachments between people and historic places in different contexts.

This book advocates a need to shift to a more nuanced understanding of people’s relations to historic places by situating emotional attachments at the core of urban heritage thinking and practice. It offers a practical guide for both academics and industry professionals towards people-centred methodologies for urban heritage conservation.


Rebecca Madgin is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. Rebecca’s work explores the emotional value of historic places in the context of urban redevelopment initiatives in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

James Lesh is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Design in the Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage. His research examines twentieth- and twenty-first century urban history and heritage conservation.

Project details

Associated Research Centres

Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage


Rebecca Madgin (University of Glasgow)
James Lesh (ACAHUCH, University of Melbourne)
Jeremy Wells (University of Maryland)
Jenny Gregory (University of Western Australia)
Sandra Chambers 
Ursula de Jong (Deakin University)
Cristina Garduño Freeman (ACAHUCH, Heritage NSW)
Beau Beza (Deakin University)
Fiona Gray (Deakin University)
Matt Novacevski (University of Melbourne)
Sarah A. Dowding (University College London)
Hannah Garrow (Newcastle University)
Florence Graezer Bideau (EPFL)
Haiming Yan (Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage)
Steven Cooke (Deakin University)
Kristal Buckley (Deakin University)
Ilkka Törmä
Fernando Gutiérrez (UCL Institute of the Americas)
Yang Wang (University of Glasgow)
Kali Myers
Elizabeth Auclair (CY Cergy Paris Université)
Elise Garcia (CY Cergy Paris Université)
Thompson M. Mayes (National Trust, United States)