cover of book

Rethinking Heritage for Sustainable Development: International Frameworks, Local Impacts
by Sophia Labadi
University College London, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-80008-194-9 | Paper: 978-1-80008-193-2

An innovative look at heritage in sustainable development, based on archival research on UN and World Bank documents and ethnographic fieldwork in Africa.

In 2015, the UN adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have since influenced international and intergovernmental organizations and governments and dictated priorities for international aid spending. Culture, including heritage, is often presented as fundamental to addressing the SDGs. Yet in practice heritage is marginalized when SDGs are being discussed and implemented.
This volume presents a substantial and original assessment of whether and how heritage has contributed to three key dimensions of sustainable development (poverty reduction, gender equality, and environmental sustainability) within the context of its marginalization from the SDGs and from previous international development agendas. The book adopts a novel, inclusive, large-scale, and systematic approach, providing the first comprehensive history of the international approaches to culture (including heritage) in development from 1970 to the present day. It critically assesses the international projects implemented in sub-Saharan Africa that aimed to demonstrate the contribution of heritage for development in time for the negotiation of the SDGs, reflecting on the shortcomings of selected projects and providing recommendations for rethinking heritage for development.

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