Both the German city of Dortmund and the Scottish metropolis of Glasgow were powerhouses of the industrial era. Yet today the cities deal with their industrial legacies in completely different ways. Whereas Dortmund highlights its industrial history in official representations and preserves significant industrial relics, Glasgow omits the industrial past in its branding strategy and has removed almost all industrial remnants. I argue that each city’s presentation of its industrial history corresponds with the inhabitants’ attitudes towards this past rather than being merely dictated by political elites or marketing experts. In Dortmund, the embrace of industrial heritage is an expression of its significance for the city’s collective identity and proof of authenticity, whereas in Glasgow industrial legacies are perceived as a social stigma.

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