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AG2169 The City as a Collective Memory in Constant Progress 5.0 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG2169 (Spring 2012–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

In urban planning, heritage has until recently been handled as a separate sector through which certain buildings, monuments and spatial elements are managed by heritage specialists, historians and archaeologists. Valuation of heritage has therefore focused on individual and groups of buildings, monuments and objects in isolation of the built environment of a city. This focus has sometimes been broadened when the surrounding environment of an object revealed a historic significance. Conservation of heritage has also ideologically been steered by ideas of passing specific physical heritage to future generations. These practices of valuing and conserving heritage have partly been promoted in local and national policies for heritage conservation through international treaties starting with the Venice Charter from 1964.

A series of new perspectives, tendencies and criticism have recently influenced the understanding and professional practices of heritage. One change concerns the construction of heritage meaning. A central issue here concerns the raised awareness regarding the different memories and meanings that are embedded in a city and how this diversity may result in competing claims on what to value as heritage and how to conserve it. Another change concerns the growing conflicts underpinned by competing ideologies within heritage management that range between conservation and modernisation. Rather than seeing heritage conservation as a hinder for urbanisation and modernisation, heritage is increasingly seen as a resource for city branding and marketing. A third change responds to the criticism of the employment of international heritage standards worldwide with little attention to local and regional specificities. Finally, there are growing criticisms of the reification of heritage and the objectification of memories, calling for a broader understanding of the intertwined relations between tangible and intangible aspects of heritage.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students shall be able to

  • explore the possible meanings of heritage in Palestinian cities that are embedded by diverse memories and competing interpretations of heritage.
  • examine strategies, plans and / or architectural projects that highlight the value of heritage in a city and enhance the consideration of collective memories and diverse meanings in planning. 

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

60 credits in urban and regional planning, urban design or architecture

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


Hammami Feras (2012) Conservation under Occupation: Conflictual powers and cultural heritage meanings. Journal of Planning Theory and Practice issue 13(2) 2012;

Harvey David (2000). Continuity, authority and the place of heritage in the Medieval world (Journal of Historical Geography, 26, 1; 47–59)

Harvey David (2001). Heritage pasts and heritage presents: temporality, meaning, and the scope of heritage studies. (International Journal of Heritage. Studies. 7:319–38)

Howarth David (2000) Discource. Open University Press.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • PRO1 - Individual Project Work, 5.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

To get the course grade, the students shall write a seminar paper and submit before the course starts, work in groups on a specific question related to heritage and planning and present at the last day of the course, and write the findings from their group work in individual papers.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Göran Cars

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AG2169

Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Feras Hammami,