Things we hold dear

Mapping immaterial value in the context of urban regeneration


  • Catalina Pollak Williamson



use-value, intangible heritage, community mapping, critical play, urban regeneration


This paper reflects on Common-places (2019), a project that was developed in Sheffield on the invitation of Site Gallery to participate in their ‘City of Ideas’ programme. Amidst the urban regeneration processes that are reshaping the city, this programme offered the opportunity to think about novel approaches that art and interdisciplinary practices could bring to processes of urban change. Common-places was proposed as a participatory workshop that engaged the local community, by inviting them to recognise the things they ‘hold dear’ about the areas in which they live or work. The premise was to identify forms of material and immaterial value that would reveal the ‘character’ of a place and its forms of use-value that are important to a local community. The intention was to develop a set of tools to highlight, map, commemorate and ultimately protect this intangible heritage in the context of urban regeneration in Sheffield. The project addressed some of the existing challenges of integrating an expanded notion of heritage in urban planning. Moveover, it reflects on the importance of identifying the use-value of intangible heritage and embraces a more integral and holistic approach to city planning.




How to Cite

Pollak Williamson, C. (2021). Things we hold dear: Mapping immaterial value in the context of urban regeneration. Airea: Arts and Interdisciplinary Research, (3), 5–16.