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Old cities, new pasts: Heritage planning in selected cities of Central Europe

G.J. Ashworth and J.E. Tunbridge
GeoJournal
Vol. 49, No. 1, Post-socialist urban transition in Eastern and Central Europe (1999), pp. 105-116
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41147404
Page Count: 12
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Old cities, new pasts: Heritage planning in selected cities of Central Europe
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Abstract

Heritage is the contemporary usage of a past and is consciously shaped from history, its survivals and memories, in response to current needs for it. If these needs and consequent roles of heritage, whether for the political legitimacy of governments, for social and ethnic cohesion, for individual identification with places and groups, or for the provision of economic resources in heritage industries change rapidly, then clearly we expect the content and management of that heritage to do likewise. The cities of Central Europe have long been the heritage showcases that reflected the complex historical and geographical patterns of the region's changing governments and ideologies. The abrupt economic and political transition and reorientation of the countries of Central Europe has thus, unsurprisingly, led to many equally abrupt changes in the content and management of urban heritage throughout the region. The uses made of heritage are clearly drastically changing but so also is the way that heritage is currently managed. What is happening, as well as how, is however uncertain and investigated here. The revolutionary eradication of a rejected past, a return to some previous pasts or the beginnings of a new past in the service of a new present are all possibilities. Answers are sought to these questions through the examination of a selection of cases of types of heritage city and their management in the region. These include an archetypical European gem city (Eger, Hungary), a tourist-historic honey-pot (Česky Krumlov, Czechia), a medium-sized multifunctional city (Gdansk, Poland), a major metropolis (Budapest, Hungary), the relict anomaly (Kaliningrad/Königsberg, Russia) and the national cultural centre of Weimar.

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