In balancing between historical conservation and sustainable development, the maintenance and adaptation of garden city houses become liable to both heritage and low impact renovation criteria. Adherence to these criteria can create difficulties for residents - for example, not all of them can access funds for sustainable renovation, or perform the expected maintenance labour, such as cutting the hedges. The heritage value, proposed by heritage-development experts and documents, relies on the architectural qualities of housing ensembles, such as harmony and visual coherence between individual units. These qualities assumingly stem from the intention of mining companies to provide pleasant working and living environments for the miners.
However, there are contradictions in this evaluation, since the visual order was also a tool of social control for the mining companies, which disciplined the miners if they didn’t follow the rules for maintaining the appearance of their houses (e.g. cutting the hedges). The atlas explores how the valorisation of garden cities, based on the company image as a predefined object of value, can limit the attention to contemporary needs for adaptation, as well as the social history after the mines were dismantled. For example, the continuity of image control through heritage protocols can hinder the residents’ own practices of care from entering the design space of the garden city, as well as diminish how adaptations reflect the social history and cultural diversity in the garden city.