The Adaptive Reuse of Cultural Heritage in European Circular City Plans: A Systematic Review

Gillian Joanne Foster, Ruba Saleh

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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A new movement in urban environmental policy, the circular economy (CE), aims to change how Europeans consume and produce materials and energy. Cities are taking up the CE challenge. This research inquires whether the infant CE programs in European cities include cultural heritage and adaptive reuse of cultural heritage (ARCH) buildings. ARCH buildings exemplify the central principal of the CE, which is a temporally long service life with multiple uses for several generations of users. In addition, culture and cultural heritage buildings are established drivers of socioeconomic development, urban landscape, and identity. Hypothetically, cultural heritage and adaptive reuse of cultural heritage (ARCH) buildings should be prominently included in European cities’ CE programs, particularly those cities that are highly ranked on the 2019 European Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor (Monitor). To test this hypothesis, this study creates a novel dataset that profiles the existing circular city plans of 190 European cities included in the Monitor’s ranking. Contrary to the hypothesis, just seven percent of cities in the dataset include cultural heritage. European cities are missing an opportunity to achieve their CE goals and preserve their unique identities as embodied in the built environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2889
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 211908 Energy research
  • 201128 Sustainable building
  • 207106 Renewable energy
  • 401905 Renewable resources
  • 405004 Sustainable agriculture
  • 502022 Sustainable economics
  • 509
  • 105904 Environmental research

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