Exploring the relationship between heritage management and local development in Abadan as an industrial heritage
This study of the industrial heritage of Abadan, a historical oil city in south-western of Iran, extends a historical framework to shed light on the importance of heritage management to investigate how heritage is envisioned or managed as a local development tool. Highlighting the problem in the field of study, industrialization because of attracting the skilled labor forces from different places would bring the combination of cultures and identity, which usually drives to vanishing sense of place, sense of belonging, and gradually some of the native cultures. Consequently, this procedure can cause the rupture of the relationship between people and where they live or work, leading to speeding up the deindustrialization process. At the same time, deindustrialization outcomes appear as a tangible and intangible social and cultural heritage that is impressive in all aspects of local growth.
From the heritage point of view, the vibrant and dynamic space can be where the historical experiences and cultural accumulations could find purpose to be expressed, where the sense of place is born out of citizens’ interaction with urban spaces. In this regard, industrial inheritance appears to be a potential contribution to creating a shared local identity that can connect people, place, and history. Industrial places describe a part of a place’s history and are evidence of the cultural, social, and economic developments, and interpret and document values for the place’s heritage. So, conserving industrial heritage could be a new horizon in local growth by creating readability, a sense of belonging, and a sense of place, establishing the connection of people with the place through past projects.
The oil city of Abadan was inhabited by English, Indian, and Iranian engineers and workers. It includes Indian temples, European churches, and Iranian mosques, which were built for company employees of differing skills, ethnicities, cultures, and origins. Studying Abadan as a mixture of cultures and active industrial heritage, this paper would examine the implications of heritage on the relationship between people and their place, which would be influential on the local development. Local development could result in preventing the deindustrialization and its effects. Then, reviewing the industrial heritage preservation and reclamation through heritage management policies becomes part of reconstructing future local progress. Emphasizing heritage management and considering the relation between people, place, and heritage, this paper would also realize how industrial sites’ identity is preserved to create a local identity through past projects.