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13.30  Participatory, Value-Based Heritage Cultural Landscape Conservation for Sustainable Community Development: The Case of Milton Park in Montreal

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11:00, Samedi 4 Juin 2016 (30 minutes)

Given that heritage, tangible and intangible, is considered as a cultural/capital resource, this paper will depart from the premise that participatory heritage development is one the axes of cultural development, which is in turn a major player in the sustainable community development process. Furthermore, in order for heritage to be considered an asset (not a liability), and for its development play a role in cultural/community development, it must be based on community values and aspirations, as well as participation. This paper will argue that in two-way relationships, sustainable and participatory community development leads to heritage protection, and that heritage development plays a major role in process of community development. In short, people-based heritage change places. 

Although values have formed an approach to heritage conservation, it has become increasingly evident that the identification of community values is fundamental to heritage conservation. Therefore the challenge remains to identify heritage values that correspond to community values in order for heritage play a role in community development. This paper will argue that only if local populations play a role and participate in managing changes in their neighbourhood as an integral step in the sustainable community development process, then participatory cultural heritage conservation can become another tool for inclusiveness, social, economic, democratic and cultural development: that is, community development. Moreover, given that heritage has the potential to change places, affect, transform and play a role in social, democratic, cultural and economic development then heritage will be considered as an asset/resource leading to its protection. 

In late 1960s the Milton Park neighbourhood was in danger of becoming another one of the lost neighbourhoods of Montreal, along with Faubourg à m’lasse and Goose Village, in the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, the local population took charge in a participatory process to stop the demolition, to renovate dilapidated housing, and allow the local residents to continue to live in affordable housing cooperatives, take ownership, participate and play a role in their community development process. This paper will present Milton Park as a case study, as an urban cultural landscape, almost forty years after the beginning of a participatory community movement to save the neighbourhood, that initiated a local and participatory community development, and ultimately through heritage, continues to change places. 

Mehdi Ghafouri


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