The management of built heritage: A comparative review of policies and practice in Western Europe, North America and Australia

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Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only

Pickerill, T., & Armitage, L. (2009). The management of built heritage: A comparative review of policies and practice in Western Europe, North America and Australia. Paper presented at the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) 15th annual conference, Sydney Australia.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1205

© Copyright Tracy Pickerill & Lynne Armitage


Internationally, patterns of government policy are trending away from traditional approaches to the conservation of the built heritage involving direct public funding, limiting subsidy and acquisition to the most cherished exemplars of national character. The evolving contemporary approach is one of partnership between stakeholders in the public and private domain to leverage their relative strengths whilst recognizing the constraints of market conditions and public sector imperatives.

As a consequence of the limited ability of the untrammelled property market to incorporate values of cultural heritage which accord with those held by the broader voting public a continuum of legislative regimes has been generated across diverse jurisdictions to protect such buildings and places in accordance with local preferences. The physical - and often dramatic last minute - on-site confrontations with bulldozers which accompanied many early instances of saving built heritage have metamorphosed into less visible but often equally committed encounters in the milieu of the legislature or courtroom.

Building on Pickerill's (2002 & 2007) work in North America and Western Europe, this paper compares funding mechanisms, stakeholder involvement and area based heritage conservation models from Western Europe and North America with those of Australia. More specifically, the domain of enquiry will consider Pickerill's bifurcated model of the new governance of financing for conservation which recognizes the duality of tool knowledge and design knowledge. Examples from practice in Europe, America and Australia will provide an illustration of these mechanisms.

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This document has been peer reviewed.