SuHRF Symposium 2019 - Visions for Sustainable Heritage

Sustainability and heritage are concepts enfolding and unfolding a multitude of meanings. They may be specific and distinct and at the same time broad and ambiguous. Notions behind the concepts can be traced back several centuries, but it was not until the second half of the 20th century that sustainability and heritage, separately, were recognised as fields of research. And only two decades ago, they emerged together – as sustainable heritage.

Despite its relatively recent establishment, the academic field of sustainable heritage already moves in various directions. It is transdisciplinary in its approach and sometimes even contradictory. Sustainable heritage research includes theoretical and critical inquiries of how heritage is relevant to sustianable development and vice versa, how they are connected and where they overlap. Does heritage in itself carry the spirit of sustainability? Is heritage research and practice inherently sustainable? Does sustainable development inevitably embrace heritage concerns? Are they two sides of the same coin? Sustainable heritage research also includes explorations connected to practice and policy. What are the roles of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, in the sustainable development process? How can heritage, both the management of it and as a process, contribute to sustainable development and how does sustainable development affect cultural heritage assets? In what ways is heritage useful for the development of sustainable societies? If and how can heritage resources be passed on to future generations? Some even claim that heritage practice with its focus on preservation, restoration and reuse per definition forms a circular economy and thereby ultimately contributes to reach sustianable development goals.

The questions are manifold. Hence, the aim with the first SuHRF Symposium is to begin unpacking the complexities of sustainable heritage, to explore and understand it from different perspectives and paradigms: as a concept, a practice and a method.



Keynote lecture by Kalliopi Fouseki

Dr Kalliopi Fouseki is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Heritage Management and Director of Research at the Institute of Sustainable Heritage of the University College London. She is also the programme lead for the MSc in Sustainable Heritage and supervisor of 12 PhD students in the field of sustainable heritage management. Her research interests revolve around participatory heritage Fousekipractices in the context of heritage-led regeneration and sustainable urban transformation with particular emphasis on empowering communities to drive socially and environmentally sustainable heritage futures. Her current research focuses on heritage and its role to the global Sustainable Development Goals for which she is managing a social, facebook platform for knowledge exchange She is the lead editor of the recent book Heritage and Sustainable Urban Transformations: Deep Cities published by Routledge. Currently, she is the lead editor of the first Handbook on Sustainable Heritage aimed to be published by Routledge.


Keynote lecture by Stefan Simon

Stefan Simon is since 2005 Director of the Rathgen Research Laboratory with the National Museums Berlin. Trained as a heritage scientist, Simon earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. He served as a Council Member and Vice President of ICCROM, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. As Inaugural Director of Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Director of the Yale’s Global Cultural Heritage Initiatives (2014-2019), Stefan Simon prioritized the advancement of sustainable conservation strategies triggered by global climate change and the green museum debate, and questions of conservation documentation and access in the digital age. Dr. Simon is a leading voice in the international “Culture in Crisis” debate and involved in various collaborative efforts to document and preserve cultural heritage. He is also acting on public stage as advocate against illicit traffic of cultural property and for the study of authenticity questions.


Keynote lecture by Sophia Labadi

Sophia Labadi is Professor of Heritage at the University of KenLabadit (UK) and an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Leadership Fellow on Heritage for Development. She also regularly acts as consultant for international organisations on projects and policy-making on culture. She is the author of UNESCO, Cultural Heritage, and Oustanding Universal Value (Altamira Press, 2013) and L'Impact de la Culture en Europe (L'Harmattan, 2016), as well as the co-editor of Heritage and Globalisation (Routledge, 2010 with C. Long) and Urban Heritage, Development, and Sustainability (Routledge, 2015, with W. Logan).


With Stavroula Golfomitsou, Alison Heritage, Stefan Nilsson, Tor Broström, Stefan Simon, Sophia Labadi and Kalliopi Fouseki.



  • From 08.30 Coffee, outside B23 (room changed from E45)
  • 09.00-09.15 Welcome and introduction, Mattias Legnér                                                                                     
  • 09.15-10.30 Adopting and Adapting Socio-Technical Approaches in Conceptualizing, Researching and Practicing Sustainable Heritage, Kalliopi Fouseki                                                 
  • 10.30-11.45 "Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly“ - What sharing heritage really means, Stefan Simon
  • 11.45-13.00 Lunch
  • 13.00-14.15 Rethinking heritage for sustainable development, Sophia Labadi                                              
  • 14.15-15.30 Panel discussion and open discussion, Tor Broström
  • 15.30-15.45 Concluding remarks and coffee, Christer Gustafsson

SuHRF Symposium is organised annually by Sustainable Heritage Research Forum, at the Department of Art History/Conservation, Uppsala University Campus Gotland. This is the first SuHRF Symposium.