The Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin of France is characterized by a landscape shaped by two centuries of intensive coal mining. This includes large-scale neo-natural sites such as slag heaps but also canals and railroads, industrial buildings, community facilities, and miners’ housing.

The shutdown of the mines in 1990 left behind it a post-industrial landscape in decline and a state of change, whose conservation raised many questions: the living dimension of this heritage, still inhabited and in full mutation, being hardly compatible with a conservative approach. In 2012, this mining area of 3,943 hectares became a World Heritage Site, listed as an “organically evolved and continuing cultural landscape”: an example of the scalar and typological turning point in the global heritagization process, and of the emerging topic of post-mining sites in the world.

Ten years after the UNESCO nomination, this chapter aims to analyse the specificities of the heritagization of this post-industrial landscape, and the issues and the stakes of management and preservation that this raises for the stakeholders and professionals of the conservative sector. This case study illustrates that a dynamic approach to heritage can participate in the repair of the living.