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CLIC - Circular models Leveraging Investments in Cultural heritage adaptive reuse

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CLIC (CLIC - Circular models Leveraging Investments in Cultural heritage adaptive reuse)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2021-08-31

Cultural heritage and landscape represent a strategic resource for sustainable development, recognized in the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the UN New Urban Agenda. Cultural heritage conveys collective memory and values, contributing to build and strengthen relational values as “common good”. However, a large part of the European cultural heritage, particularly minor and diffused heritage both tangible and intangible, is currently in state of abandonment or underuse, due to the lack of interest and/or financial resources for its recovery and maintenance. Public and private resources and capacities should be mobilized for cultural heritage “active” conservation, identifying new functional uses for the abandoned assets, thus turning heritage from a “cost” to an “investment” for the society.
New contemporary uses for “old” buildings and sites should be identified in a systemic perspective, compatible with its cultural significance, authenticity, integrity and “complex” social value.
The strategy of “reusing” abandoned / underused historic buildings, sites and landscapes represents also a fundamental contribution to the implementation of the Circular Economy (CE) development model in cities and regions. The CE can be considered as “the new paradigm for sustainability”. The adaptive reuse of cultural heritage can generate many positive impacts in the perspective of the CE: avoidance of wastes and greenhouse gas emissions from demolitions and new constructions, aesthetic, environmental and functional / economic revitalization of urban areas, stimulation of micro-communities and new forms of collaborative / synergic /symbiotic management of heritage as “common good”, enhancement of people’s wellbeing and health.
The CLIC project aims to identify new evaluation methods to support informed choices of conservation vs. transformation/adaptation of cultural heritage / landscape, developing innovative circular business, financing and governance models for the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage as a way in which the CE can be practically implemented in the territorial dimension.
The integration of sectorial knowledge, tools and methods will be achieved through a trans-disciplinary approach promoting partners and stakeholders’ cooperation, co-creation of knowledge and co-delivery of outcomes.
CLIC developed an inter- and trans-disciplinary reflection towards a definition of the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage in relation to the circular economy perspective.
CLIC developed new integrated approaches and tools for the evaluation of cultural heritage adaptive reuse projects and validated them with end-users by involving stakeholders in pilot cities in the co-evaluation of adaptive reuse projects, co-assessing priorities and indicators for better choices, towards sustainability and circularity.

CLIC gathered, analysed and assessed more than 120 best practices that represent blueprints to sustainable adaptive reuse practices. The project identified barriers and bottlenecks and provided policy-relevant recommendations for culturally, socially and economically viable circular models.
Conceptual and quantitative analysis provided new insights into where, how and by whom adaptive re-use of cultural heritage is emerging across Europe. Drawing on the evidence produced, CLIC identified suitable and measurable multidimensional indicators of circularity and assessed the potential contribution that cultural heritage can make also towards achieving the SDGs.

CLIC involved local communities including residents and stakeholders in 4 pilots: Salerno in Italy, Rijeka in Croatia, the Region of Västra Götaland in Sweden, and the cultural foundation Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Four Heritage Innovation Partnerships were established to design and experiment new models and tools for heritage conservation. The project explored new market opportunities, testing the feasibility of circular business models for cultural heritage and landscape adaptive reuse initiatives in the pilot cities and regions, as well as through an international Startup Competition. The CLIC Startup Competition received a total of 73 submissions from all continents. CLIC explored innovative finance with high leverage capacity, linking also with philanthropic and impact investment funds (venture philanthropy, ethical banks, foundations) involved in the pilot cities and regions and through the Task Force initiative.
CLIC had a direct socio-economic impact and wider societal implications through:
•Validation of integrated approaches and strategies for cultural heritage adaptive re-use;
•New investments and market opportunities in adaptive re-use of cultural heritage, also stimulating the creation of start-ups;
•An enabling context for the development and wide deployment of new technologies, techniques and expertise enhancing industrial competitiveness and contributing to economic growth, new skills and jobs;
•Innovative adaptive re-use models that are culturally, socially and economically inclusive;
•Contribution to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Goals 1, 15, 11 particularly) and the United Nations New Urban Agenda.

CLIC aimed to contribute to European policy objectives and societal goals to address the ecological and social crisis of our times. The project investigated how the “circular” cultural heritage adaptive reuse can enhance health and wellbeing of local communities.

Policy impact: improving current and help shaping future legislation. The work of CLIC on circular governance models contributed to enhance current regulations and cooperation models in pilot cities and regions. To test the feasibility of the proposals, CLIC experimented new approaches and governance models for cultural heritage in the pilot cities and regions involved.

Moreover, CLIC exploited the potential of the novel FacilityLive technology for the management of heritage-related information, developing the CLIC Knowledge and Information Hub platform ( CLIC achieved European and global level impact contributing to SDGs implementation and monitoring thanks to the collaborations with the global networks involved such as ICLEI, ICOMOS, UNESCO, UN-Habitat. Finally, CLIC produced more than 70 scientific publications, generating a substantial impact in the international scientific community, reaching more than 23,000 scientists worldwide.
CLIC logo
CLIC Framework explanatory figure
CLIC work plan