What makes a wasteland?: ruins, rubble and regeneration

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract / Description of output

This paper examines how (post)industrial spaces become labelled as ‘disused’, ‘wastelands’, or ‘brownfields’ in processes of urban redevelopment. Taking a broad overview of different examples across sites in Edinburgh and London (UK) I ask how understandings of waste and value are produced and contested through industrial processes themselves (the production of by-products, contamination etc.), mitigation measures (including environmental cleanup and archaeological interventions) and at a socio-cultural level (natural and cultural heritage preservation campaigns, and legislation for example). I aim to problematise the strict differentiation between which industrial landscapes can be considered ‘waste’ and which are seen as valuable heritage sites. In particular I will discuss the material and discursive transformations of several London and Edinburgh dockside sites from places of heavy industry, transport and labour into spaces of consumption, luxury accommodation and leisure.


ConferenceSociety for Historical Archaeology Conference
Period9/01/21 → …
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • rubble
  • waste
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • ruins
  • regeneration
  • wastelands


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