Official urban naming : cultural heritage and identity
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSærheim, I. (2007), Official urban naming : cultural heritage and identity. Onoma, 42, 171-187 10.2143/ONO.42.0.2047080
In modern cities naming forms part of urban planning. The naming principles often reflect cultural aspects like heritage, local tradition and identity. Official urban names are links to the past and signs of continuity and individuality, with regard to settlement, activities and culture in the area. As appointed European capital of culture in 2008, Stavanger (Southwest-Norway) and the neighbouring city Sandnes have made commitments to promote cultural heritage and identity. The official names of the two cities give an impression of great diversity. They reflect historical traditions, activities, events and development of mentality and attitudes, as well as characteristic features in the local dialect. With some exceptions the names seem to help promote cultural curiosity and create urban and regional identity, and may thus be said to match the values, goals and vision of the Stavanger 2008 cultural programme.