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Sims, K. and Winter, T., 2016, ‘In the slipstream of development: World Heritage and development-induced displacement in Laos’, in Colin Long and Sophia Labadi (eds.), Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: International Frameworks, National and Local Governance, Routledge, UK, pp. 23-36.

Book Name
Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability
International Frameworks, National and Local Governance

Book Editors
Sophia Labadi, William Logan

Publisher
Routledge, UK.

Published Date
2016

Published Date
Sims, K. and Winter, T., 2016, ‘In the slipstream of development: World Heritage and development-induced displacement in Laos’, in Colin Long and Sophia Labadi (eds.), Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: International Frameworks, National and Local Governance, Routledge, UK, pp. 23-36.

Abstract

All too often a lack of attention has been paid to the profound social and economic change experienced by those living in or around places designated for World Heritage protection. Such issues remain particularly charged in the fast developing economies of Asia, and nowhere more so than in the remote site of Luang Prabang in Laos. Long recognized as an important place in the country’s Buddhist culture, Luang Prabang has fast emerged as a key node for greater regional integration. Given its location, the expansion of the airport has become a critical development project for a state seeking to capitalize upon the rapid growth of its regional neighbours, most notably China. This chapter asks questions about accountability towards those invisible communities of World Heritage: those residents who lie beyond core zones and boundaries, and whose welfare and livelihoods are threatened not by the need to conserve and resist modernization, but by developmental projects that arise on the back of heritage-driven tourism. To achieve this, the chapter is centred around the upgrading of the Luang Prabang airport and draws on a series of personal interviews conducted by Kearrin Sims in 2012 with residents living in the area that focused on the issue of forced displacement.