Heritage, social values and the threat of ruination

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Valuation of heritage buildings is usually performed by architectural-historical experts, who use a typology of heritage values based on conservation philosophy. Increasingly, social and spirituality values are included in heritage assessment frameworks.
What happens to valuation systems when external events influence the chances of survival of heritage buildings, such as earthquakes induced by gas extraction in the Netherlands? While the mining company uses a narrow economic perspective on value, the public fears for loss of character of their historic towns. New safety regulations constitute a new and even stronger threat to heritage buildings. Recently, a heritage assessment framework was published, to help with value assessments in the affected region. In this paper, we compare experts’ and laypersons’ values by analyzing the new assessment framework as well as public documents. We conclude that heritage value assessments should incorporate social values, including memories and symbolic meanings, to create a balanced valuation system.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2018
EventEEHB 2018: The 3rd International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings - Visby, Visby, Sweden
Duration: 26 Sep 201827 Sep 2018


ConferenceEEHB 2018


  • historical buildings
  • heritage
  • earthquakes
  • valuation systems
  • livability
  • ruination

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    van der Schoor, T. (2018). Heritage, social values and the threat of ruination. Paper presented at EEHB 2018, Visby, Sweden.