Journal Article


The impact of heritage investment on public attitudes to place: evidence from the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI)

Abstract

This paper is concerned with public perceptions and attitudes to heritage townscapes, and how these might be influenced by investment in such places, focused on their public realm, and building restoration and improvement as a catalyst for urban regeneration. It draws on a ten-year study of the impact of the Townscape Heritage Initiative, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, on a sample of 16 cases across the UK. By comparing an analysis of changes in townscape quality over this period, with changes in public perceptions (captured through the use of a household survey in all 16 cases at three points in the ten-year period), it draws empirically grounded conclusions about the influence of heritage investment on attitudes and perceptions to the quality of the local environment. The findings from the research suggests that public attitudes are positively influenced by programmes of investment in the built heritage, but that this influence is complex and is not as robust as the physical regeneration itself. The paper also reflects on the relative influence of the post-2008 economic recession on public attitudes to place compared with the influence of heritage investment.

Attached files

Authors

Reeve, A
Shipley, R

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of the Built Environment\Planning

Dates

Year of publication: 2014
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-02-16



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