Impacts of Change: Analysing the Perception of Industrial Heritage in the Vogtland Region

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Impacts of Change: Analysing the Perception of Industrial Heritage in the Vogtland Region


  • Leo Bockelmann Institute for European Urban Studies, Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany


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Abstract:  Beyond metropolitan areas, many peripheral regions and their cities in Europe have, in manifold ways, been significantly shaped by industrialisation. In the context of the relocation of industrial production to other countries over the last decades, the question has been raised as to the role this heritage can play in futural regional development as well as the potential local identification with this history. Hence, this article seeks to analyse the perception of the industrial heritage in the Vogtland region, located alongside the border of three German federal states and the Czech Republic. It inquires as to the perception of the industrial heritage by the local population and related potential future narrations. Based on spontaneous and explorative interviews with local people as an empirical base, a discrepancy between the perception of the tangible and intangible dimensions of the industrial heritage can be observed. On the one hand, the tangible heritage like older factories and production complexes are seen as a functional legacy and an “eyesore” narrative is attributed to them. On the other hand, people often reference the personal and familial connection to the industry and highlight its importance for the historical development and the wealth of the region. But these positive associations are mainly limited to the intangible dimension and are disconnected from the material artefacts of industrial production.

Keywords:  industrial heritage; perception; regional development; transformation; Vogtland region

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v8i1.6025


© Leo Bockelmann. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.