The subject for this essay is areas of national heritage and the usefulness they posses as an instrument for conservation. The role of this juridical instrument in local governmental planning has been questionized during the last years and has grown into an issue for national debate in Sweden. To be able to say something about the usefulness of the national heritage areas I have compared the two private house areas Pungpinan and Tallkrogen in the south of Stockholm. One of them is an area of national heritage and the other one is not. The comparison includes an inventory of how well-kept the areas are in terms of the cultural value specified in available descriptions, an examination of the control documents used by the local government in the process of physical planning and an analysis of issues concerning conservation in the building permit process. The essay also examines the juridical conditions for the areas of national heritage as an instrument for physical planning. The analysis clearly shows that Pungpinan, the area of national heritage, doesn’t posses a higher cultural value then Tallkrogen and is not more well-kept. The differences concerning the governmental control documents and building permit is marginal and the fact that Pungpinan is an area of national heritage doesn’t seem to have a positive effect on how the area is managed in the planning process. With the result of this essay as a starting point it would be interesting to investigate whether the situation is the same for other areas of national heritage. There are 1700 of them in Sweden, do they really correspond to Swedish cultural environmental values, and are they useful in terms of conservation
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