Petroleumscape as Heritage Landscape: The case of the Dunkirk Port City Region

C.M. Hein, Christine Stroobandt, S.J. Hauser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Transformations in the global petroleumscape, such as the closure of refineries in Dunkirk, a port city in northern France, can have a huge impact on local economies, livelihoods, and the built environment. Dunkirk was a hub of global petroleum shipping beginning in the 1860s, when the petroleum industry started to shape port cities around the world. As the link between producing sites and the hinterlands of many countries, Dunkirk, like many other port cities, became a privileged place for French and foreign businessmen investing in petroleum activities. The oil industry provided employment and development opportunities on local and regional scales, while impacting the spatial planning and the political life of Dunkirk and other host cities. As one of France’s most important petroleum hubs, Dunkirk took on an urban form that has been greatly influenced by the ups and downs of petroleum sites. This chapter considers the impact of changing economic and spatial conditions on a variety of actors in the French port city. How have these actors adapted, what oil spaces have they created, and with which collaborators and tools? While the refineries closed in 2016, the mark of the petroleum industry remains in the fabric of the city, in the memory of inhabitants who remember oil’s heyday as a time of prosperity, and in the pollution left behind in the soil in sites where uses were never adequately recorded. To better prepare for the future planning of port cities around the world, public and private actors need to understand the long-term influence of the petroleum industry on the governance and spatial characteristics of port cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOil Spaces
Subtitle of host publicationExploring the Global Petroleumscape
EditorsCarola Hein
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-3678-1604-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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