The research program explores the evolving notion of built heritage and the impacts of this evolution on the processes of conservation, development, appropriation, management and use. The narrow definition of "built heritage" as isolated architectural monuments has expanded to a broad definition that includes streetscapes, neighbourhoods, rural cultural landscapes, engineering works, routes and historic urban landscapes. The values attributed to heritage have also grown beyond aesthetic and identity values to social, technological, economic and environmental ones. This exponential growth in definition has important consequences for heritage conservation, including the need to re-engineer its processes and involve a broader range of stakeholders.
The research themes focus on the following areas:
• Evaluation of the gap between general policy frameworks (international conventions, principles, charters, legislation) and actual conservation activities at the site level;
• Processes and methodologies for values-based planning and management of heritage properties;
• Canadian conservation practice in the 20th century;
• Global influence of UNESCO’s Convention concerning the protection of cultural and natural heritage (1972) on conservation practice.