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CLIC - Circular models Leveraging Investments in Cultural heritage adaptive reuse

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CLIC (CLIC - Circular models Leveraging Investments in Cultural heritage adaptive reuse)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-05-31

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 started with an inter- and trans-disciplinary reflection towards a definition of the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage in relation to the circular economy perspective, identifying a set of case studies in the 4 pilot cities and region.
CLIC aimed at filling the knowledge gaps and test its assumptions through an extensive Survey on the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage, collecting more than 130 case studies of cultural heritage adaptive reuse. The study conducted led to the development of a Database of Cultural Heritage Adaptive Reuse practices and to the identification of critical drivers of circularity in the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage, which influence the overall circular economy performance of the projects. The “best” practices identified through the CLIC Survey will be further explored through in-depth analysis to detect the success factors and business, financing and governance models that led to the higher performance in terms of overall circularity.
The results of the analysis of best practices will feed into the participative process of the “Heritage Innovation Partnerships” (HIPs), started in the 4 pilot areas of the CLIC project: the cities of Salerno in Italy and Rijeka in Croatia, the region of Västra Götaland in Sweden, and the cultural foundation Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. The experimental methodology of the HIPs foresees the engagement of relevant stakeholders (public institutions, research and innovation actors, business and financial actors, and third sector organizations) in a series of meetings, workshops and laboratories for the co-development of Local Action Plans (LAPs) for the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage towards circular cities / regions. Specific activities have been carried out during the first part of the project, engaging almost 100 local organizations in the 4 pilot areas and more than 150 participants to the 15 CLIC local meetings and workshops.
A relevant research is ongoing on innovative business models, and more specifically on “circular” business models in cultural heritage adaptive reuse and the financing mechanisms for their implementation: developing definitions, key drivers, success factors, barriers to implementation and ‘best practices’ in-depth analysis. Moreover, specific circular business models in CLIC pilot cities and region will be developed in the second part of the project, engaging local stakeholders to co-develop viable solutions for economic-financial self-sustainability of adaptive reuse projects ‘blended’ with positive social, environmental, economic and cultural impacts.
The first part of the CLIC project was dedicated to the definition of the theoretical background and concepts that link the circular economy model to cultural heritage adaptive reuse, which represented a completely new field of research for which very few direct references were detected. Thus, CLIC identified the specific knowledge and practice gaps and worked to fill these gaps through the analysis of existing practices of cultural heritage adaptive reuse, re-interpreting them under the perspective of the circular economy and identifying “best” and “worst” cases through ex-post evaluation methods.
The second part of the project will be dedicated to practical implementation in CLIC pilot cities and region, as well as to transfer of CLIC methodologies in potential replicator areas.
Heritage Innovation Partnerships in 4 CLIC pilot cities and region have been successfully established, engaging local stakeholders in proposing new circular governance models that promote a shared, collective management (and cost sharing) of Heritage Commons for the enhancement of well-being and well-living of communities.
“Circular” financing and business models development are at the core of the CLIC research and innovation. CLIC will seek to leverage investments in the 4 case studies through active engagement of hybrid businesses (social enterprise), philanthropic and impact investment funds, foundations, local and national governments, construction industry organizations, professionals’ organizations and civil society organizations.
CLIC expects to have a direct and profound 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 work plan