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.
Industrial Heritage in Urban Imaginaries and City Images: A Comparison between Dortmund and Glasgow
Ralph Richter studied sociology and communication and media studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and at the University Federico II in Naples, Italy, between 1996 and 2003. He was a scientific assistant at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Leipzig and at the Technical University Darmstadt. In Darmstadt he was involved in the DFG-funded research project “City Marketing and the Intrinsic Logic of Cities” (principal investigators Prof. Dr. Helmuth Berking and Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank). In July 2011 he completed his doctoral thesis on urban-related identity as endogenous resources in shrinking cities. Since June 2014 he is a senior researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) in Erkner, Germany.
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Ralph Richter; Industrial Heritage in Urban Imaginaries and City Images: A Comparison between Dortmund and Glasgow. The Public Historian 1 November 2017; 39 (4): 65–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2017.39.4.65
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