Theme and Rationale

Cultural heritage and urban peripheries, a challenge for research
Cultural heritage plays an important role in the mediation between the a priori conflicted concepts of conservation and development. This issue is particularly crucial for the cultural heritage of urban peripheries, which with proper management can contribute to a more inclusive society by facilitating a closer integration of economic, social and symbolic values.

The heritage of urban fringes is emergent and shifting. Undervalued in recent years, the heterogeneous vestiges and heritages of the suburbs are gradually being recognized by local, metropolitan and regional authorities as assets on which is possible to build new and more inclusive scenarios for local development.

Many processes of complicated but challenging interpretation converge in urban peripheries:

– The development of de- and post-industrialized areas and the transformations of former factory buildings into cultural and leisure spaces, attracting new residents and new visitors to formerly stigmatized areas. Revalorization and urban speculation around cultural heritage in urban peripheries.

– The formation of migrant communities that have settled in the urban peripheries, transforming some of them into ethnic districts with their own intangible heritage and in which the link with heritage, in terms of identity, is an important research question.

– The emergence of new heritage discourses and new ways of presenting heritage (such as museums, living labs, and digital experiences) related to the valorization of industrial elements, green spaces, social housing, intangible heritage, archeological sites, and conflicting or dissonant historical memory.

– The development of “off the beaten track” tourism in these areas, attracting visitors to less monumental but more adventurous spaces, offering new experiences (such as URBEX: urban exploration) guided by local communities and using digital technologies to discover, record and share adventures.


The International Conference on Cultural Heritage and Urban Peripheries is organized as part of the framework of the activities of the Una Europa Alliance in the field of Cultural Heritage as well as an inaugural event of the project CUMET (CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE METROPOLITAN PERIPHERIES) funded in the framework of the Joint Programme Initiative on CH (JPI CH) led by Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and bringing together the University of Edinburgh, Complutense University Madrid and the Institut Paris Région.

The conference aims to be a forum for debate on the current state of knowledge in field of cultural heritage of the urban and metropolitan peripheries.

Download PROGRAMME here.