Contract Archaeology and Sustainable Development : Between Policy and Practice

Sammanfattning: The aim of my PhD work is to study how heritage and archaeological knowledge can be applied in practice to meet the aims of Agenda 2030, in particular goal no.11 Sustainable cities and communities. This licentiate thesis serves to provide a foundation for this research.Here, I investigate how Swedish contract archaeology can contribute to sustainable development. First, I analyse how government policy and regulations convey the relation between sustainable development and contract archaeology in practice, and examine how professionals within the contract archaeological system see that they can work with sustainability issues in practice. The results show that there is a gap between policy and practice which is mainly connected to the understanding of sustainable development as a concept and not a practice. This may potentially limit Swedish contract archaeology´s ability to play an active role in sustainability practice.In a case study, I research a modern urban planning project in Kalmar, Valnötsträdet, where contract archaeology played a decisive role in the planning process. By analysing the project process from a sustainability perspective and interviewing participants, I come to the conclusion that contract archaeology´s significant role in the project was due to the ability of individual persons to see the value of using a holistic working method and archaeological knowledge to strengthen the planning process. However, the results also show that archaeology and archaeological heritage have an inherent attraction that can cause imbalances between values ​​in a manner that potentially affects sustainable urban development if not taken into account and managed throughout the process.Although research has established that heritage and archaeology has an important role to play in the achievement of environmental, economic and social sustainability, there are still few practical examples of this. The results of this licentiate thesis point to the fact that the sector still needs to develop an understanding of sustainability as a practice in order for this to change.

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