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Planning, Urban Management and Heritage (PUMAH)

This project will develop a joint networking and advanced research programme on critical issues of planning, management and urban heritage that will strengthen research partnerships between European and Chinese partners. This aim will be achieved by short and longer-term periods of staff exchanges and networking activities between the participants, each a prestigious research institution. In total 79 researchers will undertake 215 months of exchange. The ultimate goal of this project is to achieve more rapid progress in advancing current knowledge, both conceptually and in terms of practical strategies of management, of the challenges of managing heritage as part of a wider process of spatial planning in the very different contexts provided by Europe and China. Its focus is the role of heritage in continuity and change in the city and region. Urban areas are the critical sphere of investigation as it is cities and urban regions that are subject to the greatest pressures for change and transformation and conflict and potential complementarity with heritage protection most acute. Europe and China are, broadly speaking, polar examples of the rate of urban change. In Europe the pace of urban change, in part due to heritage designation, is often very slow and we maybe building up a “heritage time-bomb”. In China, by contrast, urban change is an astonishingly rapid process, with the risk of heritage erasure. Each of the participating organisations has expertise in these areas and each is a geographical location that presents rich empirical case studies to explore.