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About

SHIFTING CITIES: Urban Heritage in the 21st Century

This international conference will examine the phenomenon of shifting populations and their connections to urban heritage. Hosted by Rutgers’ Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS), this conference will bring together leading scholars and practitioners from around the world to address the complex and interconnected challenges facing cities and their populations. The overarching goal is to identify new approaches towards working effectively with diverse and dynamic populations as part of current efforts to rethink the meaning and practice of heritage conservation within the “shifting cities” that define urbanism in the 21st century. According to the Getty Conservation Institute, conservation of historic cities is “currently one of the most universally urgent and challenging cultural heritage issues.” As populations grow and migrate and our world becomes increasingly urbanized, socio-economic change, environmental stresses, armed conflict, and the difficulties of continuing traditional forms of use threaten the sense of place and identities in urban communities. A critical rethinking of urban heritage conservation is called for at this time.

By bringing together heritage practitioners with scholars and organizations engaged in what would not traditionally be considered “heritage” or “conservation” work (such as social services and public health), Shifting Cities will be a critical step in pointing us forward to new directions and approaches. The conference will include session panels and case studies that explore tangible ways in which practitioners and community organizations have been able to address the challenges of heritage conservation in the face of shifting populations. Two Roundtables, one focusing on the city of Camden, New Jersey and another focusing on armed conflict in the Middle East, will bring together diverse sets of professionals working in each city or region to share experiences and expertise.

Keynote Speakers:

Ishmael Beah, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier & Radiance of Tomorrow

Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director, Sustainable Urbanism International GSAPP, Columbia University, New York, and Bangalore &
UNESCO Chair Professor in Culture, Habitat, and Sustainable Development Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, Bangalore

Panel Sessions:

Urban Development: Managing Competing Claims *
Environment in the City *
Urban Memories and Competing Histories *
Urban Cultural Identities *
Social Services: Education, Employment, and Public Health
Technology and New Media

Other Sessions:

Roundtable 1: Heritage in Armed Conflict - Syria & Iraq
Roundtable 2: Camden, New Jersey *
Poster Competition
Memorial Design Exhibition
CHAPS Shifting Cities Student Work
Musical Performances

*AIA Learning Units available through Preservation New Jersey, a proud partner of CHAPS and supporter of SHIFTING CITIES: Urban Heritage in the 21st Century.

  • Shifting Cities: Urban Heritage in the 21st Century

    Urbanization is the defining phenomenon of 21st century. For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, an amount that is expected to rise to nearly 70 percent by 2050, with the highest percentage of growth occurring in Asia and Africa. Not only does this growth profoundly affect the physical environment, but it also reveals the rapidly shifting nature of urban populations. The density and diversity of urban encounters and interactions can generate incredible creativity as well as conflict. Within this multidimensional environment, urban heritage can be as dynamic as the city’s population.

    This international conference, SHIFTING CITIES: Urban Heritage in the 21st Century, will look specifically at the phenomenon of shifting populations and its effect on urban heritage. Hosted by Rutgers’ Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS), this conference will bring together leading scholars and practitioners from around the world to address the complex and interconnected challenges facing cities and their populations. The overarching goal is to identify new approaches towards working effectively with diverse and dynamic populations as part of current efforts to rethink the meaning and practice of heritage conservation within the “shifting cities” that define urbanism in the 21st century. 

CHAPS
Department of Art History
Voorhees Hall
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  Phone 848.932.7041
Fax 732.932.1261