Reference : Heritage mining landscapes as rural capital: the case of two heavy metals mining wast...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Heritage mining landscapes as rural capital: the case of two heavy metals mining wastelands in Wallonia
Dubois, Charline mailto [Université de Liège > Département de géographie > Service de géographie rurale (LAPLEC) >]
Vanderheyden, Vincent mailto [Université de Liège > Département de géographie > Service de géographie rurale (LAPLEC) >]
Schmitz, Serge mailto [Université de Liège > Département de géographie > Service de géographie rurale (LAPLEC) >]
European Rural Geography Conference: New rural geographies in Europe: actors, processes, policies
14-16 Juin 2017
Thünen Institute of Rural Studies
Rural Geography Group (Arbeitskreis Ländlicher Raum)
German Association of Geography (DGfG)
[en] rural capital ; industrial heritage ; mining wastelands ; cultural landscapes ; tourism
[en] For a long time and due to the socio-economic trauma caused by the closure of the mines, the hazards of abandoned sites and soil pollution, the newness of vestiges, or the symbol of the failure of an industrial development model, on-field industrial remains were not considered as valuable heritage, particularly in rural spaces. Indeed, in the dominant imagery of rural areas, industry and countryside do not fit together (Cloke et al., 1996; Edelblutte & Legrand, 2012). Yet, such industrial activities have a long history in some areas such as in rural East-Belgium. The past deindustrialization resulted in wastelands on which stakeholders have nowadays various interests. Some of these industrial wastelands try to become places of heritage preservation and valorisation (Fagnoni, 2003; Kitchen et al., 2006; Roth, 2007; Mitchell & O’Neill, 2016). In this paper, we consider industrial wastelands with the aim to develop and enhance rural development and heritage landscapes. The mining wastelands are defined as abandoned areas where old traces of mining (e.g. factories and buildings, cuts and fills material, other marks in the landscapes, polluted soils) are still present. These areas are waiting for a new evaluation in order to create rural development strategies and local projects. We study how to preserve and protect these authentic high value landscapes and what can be proposed as type of rural strategy and rural landscape management. How to reallocate the space of wastelands according to the valorisation of cultural and natural heritage? Through qualitative document analysis and stakeholders interviews, we are discussing on the basis of two case studies concerning heavy metals mines in Easten Belgium within an hour’s drive from Liège. The first case is the “Haldes calaminaires” area in Plombières (former lead and zinc mine) and the second one is the “Rouge-Thier” area in Stoumont (former manganese mine), both industrial wastelands in rural area with a real potential for rural development in some touristic, recreational, scientific, and pedagogical frameworks (Rosengarten, 2008; Dussart & Dussart, 1991). Different scenarios are possible to allow both sites to be recognized, saved, protected, enhanced, and developed for tourists and inhabitants, but they must confront the divergent heritage, cultural, biological, urban and socio-economic interests and issues of local and regional actors.
ULiège - Université de Liège
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public

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