Preserving the past while planning for the future: the city of York's approach to managing the archaeological heritage
In 1991 the City of York in England adopted a policy to manage its archaeological heritage. The policy was in response to national directives that sought to locate the management of the sub-surface resource within the local planning process. This approach was pursued in order to ameliorate the costly and often controversial problems that had occurred when planning consent was given without the consideration of the archaeological potential of a site. The research examines the planning dilemma of how to create a policy that balances the economic value of regeneration and the historic value of the archaeological resource. The intention of this study is to assess the success of the policy adopted in York in terms of an overall planning framework that allows planners to meet the requirements of the living community, while preserving the archaeological heritage; as well as the policy's success in meeting its own aims and objectives. To understand the situation thoroughly, a holistic approach combining field research and library research was undertaken. Basic data sources include in-depth interviews with a diverse group of stockholders including archaeologists, planners, politicians, developers, architects and amenity group leaders; and primary and secondary documents which include policy statements, newspaper articles, journals, monographs and books. The research for the study suggests that overall the policy has accomplished the majority of its aims and objectives. In particular, it facilitates development while preserving the archaeological heritage. To ensure the continued success of the policy, however, it is critical that steps are taken to integrated it more comprehensively into the larger domain of planning responsibilities.
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