Sahar Ghasemshahi is a doctoral student in urban studies at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Her thesis project, under the supervision of Dr. Lucie K. Morisset, is entitled “Deindustrialization; Looking from the heritage management”. Sahar also holds a master’s degree on “Identifying the social and spatial values of traditional Iranian bazaars”.  In the framework of her thesis, she wishes to preserve the heritage of deindustrialized places to save their culture and identity. Sahar is an urban planner with experience in public and social spaces, identity, sense of belonging and culture of cities, design principles of ancient cities, preservation of heritage, culture and identity of cities.

Project Statement:

From the heritage point of view, the vibrant and dynamic space is where historical experiences and cultural accumulations could find a chance to be expressed, where the sense of place is born out of citizens’ interaction with urban spaces, and more generally all social and cultural relationships, as it creates an identity for the people and the urban spaces. Disengagement of citizens over time will have serious effects on their cities’ deformation and degradation. Hence, management and conservation of heritage that connects people, place, and history results in the sense of place having become an important aspect of urbanism. In this sense, I am going to concentrate on the relation between people and where they live or work, which using place identity and then heritage will enable us to decrease the effects of deindustrialization and preserve the places.

Emphasizing a heritage management approach, considering the relationship between people and heritage, the relation between people and the place they live or work, reserving the identity of industrial places, and surveying the implication of heritage management on reducing the drawbacks of deindustrialization, would help to rebuild the social projects, making the places alive and active or rehabilitate the places, and reducing the effects of deindustrialization on urbanization. Thus, industrial heritage protection that connects people, places, and history encourages a sense of place and the power for community renewal.