Sheffield Hallam Real Estate academic gathers 19 specialists from around the world, to discuss the fate and futures of Cold War nuclear bunkers
Monday 11 August 2014
Luke Bennett, course leader for the BSc (Hons) Real Estate, is an acknowledged expert on the lure, liabilities and management of contemporary ruins. His research has examined the management and after-use of derelict industrial land, graveyards and abandoned quarries but he is best known for his research on abandoned - and formerly 'Top Secret' - military bunkers.
At a day long conference to be held as part of the Royal Geographical Society's annual meeting in London in August 2014, experts brought together by Luke will discuss how redundant military structures are explored, repurposed or redeveloped around the world - from Cuba to Norway, Switzerland to the US and the UK to the Netherlands.
Explaining the link to his teaching, Luke says: 'It is vital that we encourage our students to take a broad view of the real estate world. When I was in professional practice, dealing with site closures and redevelopments, we came across all sorts of strange properties that had once been state of the art, and essential to some national or commercial purpose, but which had then fallen out of use. Surveyors need to be able to think creatively about the re-use potential of structures that might come into their care, and also to realise that even the most derelict seeming place may have a powerful community of enthusiasts attached to it. Research like this helps to remind us staff and students alike of this constant process of change and shifting priorities at work in the built environment'.