The skilfully compiled book is really a contribution to the body of architectural books coming out of the African Continent. This is an internationally relevant publication for both the architect and the public. It’s introduction – What is industrial heritage? Clearly sets the parameter for the book. The editor is astute in putting forward an argument for the importance of redevelopment of heritage stock and in particular industrial precincts which are changed to accommodate knowledge – economies or re–industrialization.
The book includes four essays which further argue the context and importance of the work. The essays are refreshingly different and do not repeat the editor’s opinion, but rather addresses specific aspects.
The first essay by Fabio Duarte pertains to about 22 @ Barcelona where in 1999, due to the emergence of information and communication technologies, (200 hectares) of industrial land on the outskirts of the city were abandoned and ready for redevelopment and upcycled to a knowledge city. These created mixed use environments where business and housing complement each other.
The second essay is by Milan Holicky and Jana Markova – they address the importance of heritage assessment for sustainable city development with a focus on the Czech Republic.
The third and fourth essay by Luis Loures strongly argues in favour of industrial heritage being an important factor in the creation of sustainable cities.
The Case Studies are beautifully compiled with a contextual urban plan. There are clear external as well as internal images dispersed with concept diagrams and drawings. The text is just enough.
It would have added more interest to include the UNESCO viewpoint on the subject and few African examples are sited, this missed opportunity is a little unfortunate as there are many that could have contributed to this international study.