Approaches to resilience

2011

Resilience is a concept that is yet to be widely applied in Australian heritage management. However, a range of approaches to both natural and cultural heritage do consider the notion of managing change. In national park and reserved land management, the 'limits of acceptable change' model108 recognises that places are inevitably altered by both natural and human pressures, and seeks to align management practice with a level of change that does not alter the fundamental integrity of the place. Lennon has suggested useful indicators for this approach and has illustrated practical application of a values-based management approach in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.53 Environmental impact assessments also try to quantify the impact of specific development proposals and imply that there is an acceptable level of impact. Neither of these models relates specifically to shocks, but they both establish a framework for judging the impact of particular changes.

In the cultural environment, assessing impacts on heritage has become a common technique for evaluating and managing change—the test usually being whether a proposal fundamentally affects identified heritage values.109 This process also recognises that heritage is dynamic and that the primary issue is how much change can reasonably occur. In recent times, this concept has been

In the cultural environment, assessing impacts on heritage has become a common technique for evaluating and managing change—the test usually being whether a proposal fundamentally affects identified heritage values.109 This process also recognises that heritage is dynamic and that the primary issue is how much change can reasonably occur. In recent times, this concept has been extended through a 'tolerance for change' model,110 which analyses heritage significance according to specific attributes: form, fabric, function, location and intangible values. This framework encourages proponents and consent agencies to consider the differential ability of each component to be altered without affecting heritage values. This is an important distinction between heritage places and other parts of the environment—the resilience of a heritage place or resource is directly tied to its specific heritage attributes and their robustness in the face of change.

Mackay R (2011). Heritage: Approaches to resilience. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/science/soe/2011-report/9-heritage/5-resilience/5-1-approaches, DOI 10.4226/94/58b658bbe13a0