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Rules, norms and practices – A comparative study exploring disposal practices and facilities in Northern Europe

Nordh, Helena; House, Danielle; Westendorp, Mariske; Maddrell, Avril; Wingren, Carola; Kmec, Sonja; McClymont, Katie; Jedan, Christoph; Priya Uteng, Tanu; Beebeejaun, Yasminah; Venbrux, Eric

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Helena Nordh

Danielle House

Mariske Westendorp

Avril Maddrell

Carola Wingren

Sonja Kmec

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Katie McClymont
Associate Professor in Urban Planning

Christoph Jedan

Tanu Priya Uteng

Yasminah Beebeejaun

Eric Venbrux


We identify and analyse practices and management regimes around burial and handling of ashes across eight case study towns within six Northern European countries. We analyse management of cemeteries and crematoria gardens, majority practices and provision for minority communities, including various burial types, cremated remains, the re-use of graves, and costs for interments. Comparative data is drawn from analysis of national and local regulations, interviews with stakeholders, and observations at cemeteries and crematoria gardens. The findings show significant variation in national and local regulations and practices for burial and cremation particularly around the re-use of graves, handling of ashes and costs for grave space and cremation. We identify the opportunities and constraints of these variations in terms of accessibility, diversity and equality; and argue for national directions to avoid unequal treatment within nations. Furthermore, we stress the importance of a liberal and inclusive management of European cemeteries and crematoria gardens.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 11, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 8, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 3, 2023
Journal OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying
Print ISSN 0030-2228
Electronic ISSN 1541-3764
Publisher Baywood Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 88
Issue 1
Pages 171-199
Keywords Life-span and Life-course Studies; Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine; Health(social science)
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