The IHBC’s member journal Context, takes Ireland as its theme for Issue 163, but such themed issues also carry more general CPD, and this issue also has Harriet Bell remind us of the origins and importance of public participation in heritage matters, with a case study of the London Borough of Enfield’s new heritage strategy that can offer lessons to any practitioner, not least from Sherry Arnstein!
… Arnstein published her seminal ‘Ladder of Citizen Participation’ (1969)…
… consultation was already more than Arnstein’s definition…
Harriet Bell writes:
Just over 50 years ago Sherry Arnstein published her seminal ‘Ladder of Citizen Participation’ (1969), critiquing planning practice regarding community participation and challenging the profession to do better. Some thousands of academic citations later, her critique of participatory practice and the challenge to improve decision making still resonate. Heritage planning has often tended to be inherently non-participatory, rooted in statutory requirements and using consultation exercises or specialist advisory groups…
.., In June 2019 Enfield adopted a new Heritage Strategy, Making Places: Enfield Heritage Strategy 2019–24 SPD. It is the council’s second heritage strategy, but it is its first as a supplementary planning document (SPD). Enfield’s first Heritage Strategy: A Living Landscape (2008) identified key projects and highlighted the importance of both tangible and intangible heritage in the borough. This cross-council document included specific proposals for the museum and local studies library and archives services. The new strategy developed from this, identifying not only how heritage would be managed and resources prioritised, but also how the strategy would inform the coming transformational growth that Enfield anticipates through its new local plan.
Feedback from the intensive engagement through workshops, focus groups and the council’s place and design quality review panel led to reframing heritage as a key part of good growth and successful place-making, and its associated importance for place attachment and creating a sense of place….
… For this project, however, early participation in the development of the heritage strategy meant that consultation was already more than Arnstein’s definition, allowing consultation to extend beyond existing ‘stakeholder’ groups… Without the early work to ensure participation, the views of several communities would have been missed.
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