IHBC Yearbook 2021

R E V I E W A N D A N A L Y S I S 17 Bristol, itself prompted by the killing of George Floyd in the USA. I have written extensively in Context about contested heritage. My view is that as well as considering how we might deal with those sculptures and plaques which commemorate those connected with the slave trade, we need to consider the wider issue of inequality and how we deal with it. The varying responses to contested heritage have also illustrated another theme over the past year: people. This shift in focus from the physical fabric of the historic environment to those who share in its heritage was certainly a central theme of this year’s IHBC annual school, entitled ‘Historic Places: People Places’. That theme is also reflected in the contents of this Yearbook. Aishwarya Tipnis reflects on how our perception of the historic environment is influenced by our values and world-view as well as its physical appearance. Loes Veldpaus continues this theme in considering conservation as care. This is given a very practical focus by Charlotte Bowles-Lewis and Claire Dovey-Evans who describe some innovative ways of engaging local people in Gloucester’s Townscape Heritage Initiative. Jonathan Taylor looks at the relationship between people and heritage, and Dave Chetwyn reflects on current politics in examining how heritage can contribute geographically to the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. In conclusion, I believe we are entering a post-pandemic era of transition. In England, that transition may include radical changes to planning practice. There has been extensive consultation following the publication of the Planning White Paper (PWP) earlier this year. A new Planning Bill is promised in the autumn which is likely to include proposals which will have a major effect in how we manage change in the historic environment. As a precursor to the PWP, the government published Living with beauty, the Report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission in January 2020, all of which has fed into its proposals for design codes. There will be much for us to consider over the next few months, and time for us to consider Keats’s prophetic words from two centuries ago. David McDonald is Chair of the IHBC (chair@ihbc.org.uk), having been a member since 1994. He worked for over 20 years at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as Conservation and Design Team Leader and has a diploma in conservation from the Architectural Association. Lockdown lions (Photo: Hugo Marchant)