Heritage—natural and cultural, material and immaterial—plays a key role in the development of sustainable cities and communities. The International LDE Heritage conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals, which took place from 26 to 28 November 2019 at TU Delft in the Netherlands, examined the theories, methodologies, and practices of heritage and SDGs. It asked: How is heritage produced and defined? By whom and in what contexts? What are the conceptions of sustainability, and in what ways are these situational and contextual? How can theoretical findings on heritage and SDGs engage with heritage practice?
The conference built on the multidisciplinary expertise of academics in the humanities, social, and spatial sciences, notably the interdisciplinary crossover research program, Design & History, the new theme of Heritage Futures at TU Delft, on active collaboration within the LDE Center for Global Heritage and Development (CGHD), and on heritage-related research conducted by the three partner universities Leiden, Delft and Erasmus in Rotterdam by further associated partners in the consortium and internationally.
This conference created a setting where academics and heritage practitioners could explore these questions from specific perspectives. It brought together 120 academics and practitioners keen to develop their understanding of and their input into heritage conservation, and to increase their contributions towards the development of sustainable cities and communities. The three-day conference combined a variety of formats. Participants engaged in nine academic sessions with peer-reviewed papers, eight roundtables on strategic goals, and six workshops spent applying specific methods and tools.