Resourcefulness VS. Resilience

Some more thoughts on Sustainability:

Kate Derickson’s critical work on the notion of Resilience is very interesting, as she suggests that resilience is about reinforcing the status-quo, whereby experts and knowledge holders embedded in capitalist economic systems that reinforce inequity ( It puts the burden of ownership on communities, rather than the systems that have usually fashioned their disadvantage. This is important when considering heritage as an intangible thing, a network of relationships between people, heritage as an integral part and product of communities! Nevertheless, the concept of Resilience of an object is still important and useful for the conservation professional, in terms of durability of fabric in light of environmental change for instance. However, in terms of the social dimension of heritage, it is usually a disservice to detach use-value from wider social connections in the context of buildings/landscape. A heritage of resourcefulness would be more of a grassroots and community defined vision. 

As another note, her planning process as an approach in engaging with communities is noteworthy as well, and could easily be applied in determining the significance of a building. Its one of community engagement and discussion whereby the planner is more of a facilitator, recorder, mediator, or secretary than a top down decision maker. And she always brings food to her meetings. Community engagement here not being the typical lip service that it is all too often. All very touchy feely sort of stuff, but sounds good to me, Yum! My only critique would be time and money. Id like to see a cost benefit analysis of the costs of making top down decisions vs. community engagement, can cities, towns, or regions afford REAL community engagement. I imagine it would take alot of time, easy enough for professors with tens of students to throw at problems with no need for budget…  However, she also confronts the scholarly/financed apparatus. For instance, she always includes food in her budgets and instead of allocating funds to hire students she allocates funds to hire disadvantaged community members wherever she is working..  Interesting approach.


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