CFP Heritage and Waste - special issue of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

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Call for abstracts/papers - Heritage and Waste

Special issue of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

About this special issue

Given the magnitude of waste generated by demolition, and concerns about increasing landfill, increasing attention is being paid in design, research and policy to partial or complete building deconstruction, and to methods for salvage and design with reclaimed materials. The subjects of material values, waste, deconstruction and reuse are increasingly discussed in sustainable design/environmental studies/industrial ecology/cultural theory, but not yet in heritage conservation/ cultural heritage management.

Built heritage conservation is often defined in opposition to processes of demolition. Despite this, conservation treatments – from rehabilitation to restoration – frequently involve a degree of demolition and deconstruction. These processes may generate quantities of 'discarded' building materials and components that are more or less explicitly managed as conservation decisions.

At the same time, ‘values-based conservation’ calls into question the relationship of heritage to ‘waste,’ often defined as the opposite of what has value. Recent scholarship on curated decay, toxic materials and urban mining introduce critical perspectives on alternate futures for built heritage. Increasing pressure to reduce waste and landfill production, to redefine all waste for reuse, are providing practical strategies. However gaps between critical waste and heritage theories, the emerging waste management practices and evolving policy frameworks, call for dialogues that foster more productive alliances.

The aim of this special issue of Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development is to create an exchange of knowledge that joins the efforts of sustainable heritage conservation with those of waste management, environmental studies, industrial ecology and other fields that approach materials reuse without paying attention to heritage values, principles and possibilities for interpretation of the significance of these materials. The expectation is to begin to inform heritage policies and practices with opportunities for reducing material waste by engaging in processes that heritage conservation has been setting aside as "not conservation". More broadly, the intention is to influence the discourse on heritage value to engage in broader ideas of value and the limits of the values-based conservation paradigm.

Potential themes for papers include:

  • Heritage values and waste: case studies, best practices, policies
  • Deconstruction and materials re-use as heritage conservation strategies and trades
  • Cultural heritage management and materials in the circular economy
  • Specific material challenges for reuse: modern assemblies and contaminated materials
  • Connecting the embedded stories, skills, carbon and energy of materials
  • Modern spolia: narratives of reuse for salvaged materials in new places
  • Site values and other impediments in conservation principles to reuse
  • Demolition labour as a trade, as critical actors in deconstruction as part of conservation
  • Demolition, deconstruction and material stock data sources and limitations
  • Reclamation and loss aversion as part of curated decay, risk mitigation and post-disaster reconstruction
  • Innovative use of digital tools such as inventories that help integrate heritage and materials management.

How to Submit

  • Abstracts must be submitted by 1st April 2019

Abstracts must be maximum 250 words, including a draft title and a summary of proposed text, including its relevance to the theme issue, identifying if it is research/project underway or completed, does it offer a specific disciplinary perspective (e.g. Heritage studies, sustainable design, etc). For more information on how abstracts should be structured, please see the author guidelines.

Submitted abstracts are also requested to include a brief biography of maximum 100 words, including the author's title, or as appropriate, degrees or membership, affiliation with a university or organization. Once abstracts have been submitted and accepted, authors will be required to submit their full papers via Scholar One, which can be accessed here. Once submitted, these papers will go through the normal peer review process, as outlined in JCHMSD's author guidelines

  • Full papers must be submitted by 1st July 2019.

Abstracts and any questions relating to the submission process should be sent to the guest editors.

Contact Info: 

Guest Editors

Susan Ross 
Carleton University, Canada

Victoria Angel 
ERA Architects/Carleton University, Canada

Contact Email: