Industrial Heritage, a Cultural Asset

A Future for the Past

Miguel Ángel Álvarez Areces 

Brückner & Brückner, Cultural Center

Industrial heritage is a vestige of collective memory. The heritage and the footprints of the Industrial Revolution have become our new cultural assets, and an instrument with which to bring about sustainable development on a local and regional level. It’s an emerging but still not sufficiently appreciated heritage that includes all material residues, movable and immovable, regardless of their state of conservation. It therefore involves all forms or elements of the material culture of capitalist industrial society, as well as testimonies having to do with their influence in society.

These assets are inserted in a certain landscape, which makes it increasingly necessary to interpret heritage not as an isolated element, but in its territorial context, industry being a direct consequence of the use that society makes of the natural environment. Industrial heritage includes buildings, machines, equipment, objects, archives, productive infrastructures, housing provisions, and functional services that are part of social and productive processes, and also of the related ways of looking at life: intangible heritage (...)

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