In the slipstream of development: World Heritage and development-induced displacement in Laos

Sims, Kearrin, and Winter, Tim (2016) In the slipstream of development: World Heritage and development-induced displacement in Laos. In: Labadi, Sophia, and Logan, William, (eds.) Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: international frameworks, national and local governance. Key Issues in Cultural Heritage . Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 23-36.

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International focus concerning heritage conservation governance is rapidly consolidating around the discourses and paradigms of sustainability. This can be seen in attempts to include culture as one of the pillars of the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and also in the move to incorporate sustainable development into recent World Heritage Committee meetings. In Doha in July 2015, for example, considerable discussion was given to initiatives that support 'conservation for human well-being', such that economic empowerment and the social sustainability of communities are now seen as priority areas for the World Heritage Committee. Multiple cases from developing countries around the world vividly testify as to why the need to better integrate conservation with development is long overdue.

All too often a lack of attention has been paid to the profound social and economic change experienced by those living in or around places designated for World Heritage protection. Such issues remain particularly charged in the fast developing economies of Asia, and nowhere more so than in the remote site of Luang Prabang in Laos. Long recognized as an important place in the country's Buddhist culture, Luang Prabang has fast emerged as a key node for greater regional integration. Given its location, the expansion of the airport has become a critical development project for a state seeking to capitalize upon the rapid growth of its regional neighbours, most notably China. This chapter asks questions about accountability towards those invisible communities of World Heritage: those residents who lie beyond core zones and boundaries, and whose welfare and livelihoods are threatened not by the need to conserve and resist modernization, but by developmental projects that arise on the back of heritage-driven tourism. To achieve this, the chapter is centred around the upgrading of the Luang Prabang airport and draws on a series of personal interviews conducted by Kearrin Sims in 2012 with residents living in the area that focused on the issue of forced displacement.

Item ID: 46954
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-138-84575-6
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 03:23
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440101 Anthropology of development @ 50%
33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3399 Other built environment and design > 339999 Other built environment and design not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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