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Urban Archaeology and the Cities of Tomorrow

The symposium will explore the challenges of managing archaeological projects in the urban environment and how the knowledge generated by urban archaeology can contribute to the cities of tomorrow. The papers will examine how the rich archaeological heritage of our cities can influence their development in positive ways, and how the role of heritage management in enabling the benefits of urban archaeology can be fully realized.

Urban centres being multi-dimensional with complexity in time and space, with often high land values and thus significant constraints on management choices, establishing significance and linking this to strategies for change management are crucial.

  • A first session, “What matters”, will look therefore at questions of defining significance for archaeological sites in an urban setting, the tools available for managing urban archaeology, and case studies of protection and display.
  • A second session, “Asking the right questions”, will go deeper into urban archaeology as a huge resource for understanding towns and cities. However, time and money are not limitless. Therefore key decisions need to be made to permit prioritization to get the best out of each investigation. Research frameworks can be a key tool in collating, focusing and revising the key questions, linking as thus the research design for each investigation to the decisional process.
  • A third session wants to focus on the public benefits of archaeology. By definition, urban archaeology takes place in the most populated and busiest areas of a state. Large numbers of residents and workers are neighbours to new construction sites but also witnesses to the discoveries that take place. Urban archaeology’s public benefits give great opportunities to harness these benefits during the archaeological investigations. The session wants to develop the definition of these benefits and how the archaeological managers can capitalize on them within the framework of the city of tomorrow.


20/03/24 → 23/03/24
KBR / town hall of the City of Brussels








archéologie-Archaeology
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