In mid-June I’m going to be travelling over to Florence to take part in a three-day workshop/seminar bringing archaeologists and architects together to discuss how the two disciplines can work together more closely in city planning and urban regeneration contexts.

The workshop itself is co-organised by archaeologists from the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Gothenburg and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence and led by Per Cornell and Giorgio Verdiani. As well as archaeologists and architects from Sweden, including Stefan Larsson from the National Heritage Board, and Italian architects, we will be joined by Marie-Odile Lavendholme from INRAP and Adriana Velasquez from INAH in Mexico.

Here’s a description of the workshop aims:

 In discussions on urbanism, the need to involve new actors has been a major theme of recent debate. In this field, throughout Europe, various ways of allowing citizens to take a more direct part in planning is stressed. It is also important to look at the role or lack of role played by particular research fields. Architecture plays a major role in city planning. While archaeology has become increasingly involved in field projects in urban environments, the discipline seldom plays an important role in city planning. In several countries and particular cities this situation has been questioned during the last decades. In Sweden, certain studies indicate an increased interest in an active involvement of archaeology from the part of individual municipalities and provincial governments, and even on the state level in certain cases. In France, Lavendhomme at INRAP has discussed various possible new kinds of uses of archaeology in the planning process, and similar discussions start to appear in other countries. In the UK, archaeologists are increasingly involved in mitigating heritage impacts of building projects at the design stage rather than during construction (excavating). To take just one example, in Sweden the archaeologist Stefan Larsson has developed a project with the municipality of Kalmar, in which city planners, architects and archaeologists collaborate in making suggestions for a city plan in a segment of the city. In this workshop we will focus on possible new ways of collaboration between architects and archaeologists. We wish to open a new kind of communication between these research fields and related praxis. The possible contributions from archaeology include questions of conservation, diffusion of archaeological knowledge by different means, but also other fields, including practical knowledge on the development of particular districts over time, general knowledge in comparative studies of urbanism, questions of design or questions of “gestalt” in urban settings, and the intersections between archaeology, architecture and public art. We hope this workshop will help to open this field, and that it will be followed by other scholarly meetings on more limited particular cases and questions and, potentially, by a larger conference building on the workshop’s outcomes.

A summary of my own contribution is here: Florence abstract Dixon.

 

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