Assessing the dynamic social values of the 'deep city': an integrated methodology combining online and offline approaches



Jones S, Bonacchi C, Robson E, Broccoli E, Hiscock A, Biondi A, Nucciotti M, Guttormsen TS, Fouseki K & Díaz-Andreu M (2024) Assessing the dynamic social values of the 'deep city': an integrated methodology combining online and offline approaches. Progress in Planning.

This monograph presents findings from original research on urban heritage transformations and advances existing scholarship on three grounds: (1) it offers tested combinations of methods to capture the social values of heritage; (2) it distils the complex, diverse social values generated by urban heritage and revealed by the use of these methods; and (3) it discusses the implications and potential applications of these methods for urban planning. Cities are multi-layered deposits of tangible historic features and intangible meanings, memories, practices and associated values. These dense socio-material assemblages have been reconceptualised as the ‘deep city’, a concept that recognises dynamic relationships between past, present and future, whilst simultaneously repositioning heritage at the heart of sustainable transformation. However, methods for understanding people’s relationships with urban heritage are mostly applied piecemeal in urban planning and heritage management. Here, we introduce research involving a suite of social and digital research methods, which can be deployed rapidly in online and offline spaces, to examine the social values generated by urban heritage. Three in-depth case studies, in Edinburgh, London, and Florence, reveal how these values are involved in urban place-making. Failure to take them into account in development and regeneration projects can result in fragmentation and/or marginalisation of communities and their place attachments. The research has important implications for urban planning, offering methods and tools for working with communities to create more socially sustainable urban futures.

Urban heritage; social values; research methods; rapid ethnography; digital heritage; social media

Progress in Planning

StatusIn Press
FundersArts and Humanities Research Council, AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council and The Research Council of Norway
Publication date online31/05/2024
Date accepted by journal07/02/2024

People (3)


Professor Torgrim Guttormsen

Professor Torgrim Guttormsen

Honorary Professor, History

Professor Sian Jones

Professor Sian Jones

Professor of Heritage, History

Dr Elizabeth Robson

Dr Elizabeth Robson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, History

Projects (1)