English: Many nineteenth-century industrial buildings in Flanders in general and in Ghent in particular are still waiting for (permanent) users and functions. At the same time, renewed economic and residential interest represents a threat to the built-up heritage as well as to the structure of the traditional working-class social fabric of such areas. Additionally, little is known about the expectations of the residents of such neighbourhoods or the extent to which they identify with this industrial heritage. Ghent, with its strong industrial past, resulting in many nineteenth-century textile factory buildings and characteristic working-class housing (including cités and alleys), can thus offer interesting insights as a case study. However, field work about the relationship between the industrial heritage, identity and preservation as well as about the attitude of local authorities revealed that practice sometimes differs from theory.