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Chapter 9 - New approaches to Spain’s industrial heritage
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Thomson Reuters Aranzadi
Manero Miguel, F.; García Cuesta, J. L. (Coords.) (2017): Territorial Heritage & Spatial Planning. A Geographical Perspective. Ed. Thomson Reuters. The Global Law Collection. Navarra. 327 págs. ISBN – 978-84-9152-762-6
Over the last few decades, the complex and broad concept of cultural heritage has come to include the more specific, delimited concept of industrial heritage. This type of heritage has only lately been recognised in Spain if we compare it with other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Belgium or Germany. This is connected with the intensity of the historic process of industrialisation, with its impact on the territory and social awareness of industrial ruins. The old factories were undesirable elements in the landscape, ugly buildings with no artistic or monumental value: they could not compete with cathedrals, palaces, monasteries or other constructions considered artistic and enlightened architecture. In the mid-twentieth century, Spanish society was not prepared to recognise the cultural and identity value of factories, railway stations, iron bridges, etc. This was because, until that moment, the dominant discourse had excluded such elements from the category of historic and artistic heritage. Consequently, the legislation in this respect took no notice of them. Neither was there a positive social perception of the industrial legacy (intellectual and artistic voices, citizens’ collectives…). For their part, the public and private agents involved in the protection, conservation and renovation of singular urban, rural or port buildings paid no heed to derelict buildings situated in unattractive areas, even though they may be interesting from the point of view of the real estate business. In short, everything at that time favoured the denigration of the old factories, their machinery and the documentation hidden in the companies’ archives. It could be said that the general feeling was one of permissiveness as regards the abandonment and destruction of the legacy of industrial history.
5403.01 Geografía Cultural
This activities are included in the objectives and results of the Research Project CSO2013-47205-P «Culture and heritage as territorial resources: sustainable development strategies and spatial impacts», from the State Programme to Encourage Scientific Technical Research of Excellence, Sub-programme of the Generation of Knowledge from the Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The coordinators are featured as Principal Investigators.
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