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Historic cities are embedded with a deep knowledge of their ability to adapt, having survived centuries of social and political upheavals, natural disasters, and sanitary crises. Beyond a mere preoccupation with preserving forms and aesthetic styles, this body of knowledge, including the formation of place, the use of place, and the adaptability of place, plays a vital role in shaping the resiliency of the city. The city of Chiang Mai, often known as Thailand’s cultural capital, is poised to submit a final dossier to UNESCO by 2025 in a bid to become a World Heritage Site. This research focuses on the politics of world heritage and reflects on values foregrounded as well as overlooked in the processes of heritagization, in the context of Chiang Mai and its population. A landscape orientated approach is adopted which celebrates a more nuanced and adaptive perspective on heritage conservation, emphasizing community resilience and human well-being.
Kanisa Sattayanurak is a current Ph.D. student at the University of Hong Kong. She holds an MLA from The University of Hong Kong. Kanisa’s research interests include urban heritage conservation, community resilience, and human well-being. Her dissertation explores how the adaptive perspective on heritage conservation can contribute to community resilience in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s cultural capital.
Yilun Li is a PhD student in the Division of Landscape Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Beijing Forestry University. He is now working on the climatic effect of urban green and blue infrastructure.