Dr Jonathan Gardner
Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
Institute of Archaeology
- Joined UCL
- 3rd May 2016
The heritage of infrastructure and mega projects
My research considers the history and impact of large-scale construction projects on urban environments and their societies, with a particular focus on London. This interest began with studies in my MA thesis looking at the Isle of Dogs/Canary Wharf and how 'heritage', variously defined, is mobilised to support tor challenge development work. This was subsequently followed by in-depth doctoral research into the relationship of London's 'mega events' with the past, conceptualised as heritage or otherwise. This took as its key case studies, the London 2012 Olympics site in Stratford, the 1951 Festival of Britain's South Bank Exhibition, and the Great Exhibition of 1851's Crystal Palace at Hyde Park (and its legacy at Sydenham).
My research seeks to not only understand how these projects change underlying landscapes, sites and communities, but also to ask what they create in their often destructive emergence, and how this is itself valued as a form of heritage.
Similarly, I seek to interrogate how large-scale projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, used archaeology and other visions of the past to legitimise urban changes and 'urban regeneration' more generally.
More recent and ongoing research looks at the relationship of large scale infrastructural development like HS2 and major road building schemes to heritage resources.
More generally I investigate the role of materials in creating such large scale changes, through processes such as land-filling, land-reclamation and demolition, and archaeology's similarities with these, and its practitioners' relationship with them.
2017-18 Teaching (at UCL Institute of Archaeology):
- University College London
- PhD, Archaeology and Heritage | 2017