Throughout this module the importance of the ‘cultural’ and ‘natural’ world, both past and present, for informing sustainable futures has been stressed. But how do we ensure that this inheritance is itself sustainable?

To a certain extent we touched on this issue in the last chapter with discussion of landscape, environment and biodiversity – as we saw, all are artefacts of past human behaviour and, as such, can be seen as important cultural documents that contain lesson for the future.

In this chapter we will look at heritage in further detail and, after a brief introduction to the definitions and development of the concept of ‘heritage’ will examine three case studies, offered by colleagues who have been key contributors to the module, that give different and thought-provoking perspectives on issues of sustainable heritage.