ASCE Conference 2023: Cemeteries of the Future

Cemetery of Mantua
This year's Conference will take place on Friday, 22 September, focusing on the theme "Cemeteries of the Future".

Challenges of cemetery management

Even within the more general framework of ongoing climate change, the highly topical issues of environmental sustainability, decreased land consumption, and energy conservation are already having an ongoing impact on the current state of cemeteries throughout Europe that will affect their near future.

Consequently, there are many challenges awaiting cemetery managers. Indeed, companies and public or private entities are being called upon not only to manage in new ways but also to offer their essential services by making choices that increasingly protect the environment, limit land consumption, and work toward generally reducing energy consumption (e.g., using alternative materials for coffins).

Added to this are those recent social changes brought about by various factors—not the least of which is the global economic crisis—that have affected changes in burial practices as well, with the well-recognized increase in cremations, in addition to the emergence of alternative “burial” methods (e.g., scattering ashes, memorial woods).

Cemeteries of the future

How can the cemeteries of today and tomorrow be transformed to meet the challenges mentioned above? How might these challenges affect not just aspects of funeral management but also our ways of developing, promoting, and reporting on cemeteries?

A cemetery is a location dedicated to the memory of the deceased. It may also include solutions made possible by computerized systems and technology (recounting people’s lives, implementing a network for those who do not want to or cannot go physically to the cemetery).

Can cemeteries become new spaces for sharing or support in dealing with bereavement, or as places where people can also just be, looking after themselves by tending spaces, including green spaces, that perhaps result from repurposing unused areas?

Answering these questions and addressing these challenges will require involving diverse professionals, from managers to architects, from anthropologists to landscapers, and from cultural enhancement and communication specialists to engineers.

Call for papers

Details about the proposal requirements and submission deadlines are available HERE.