How can communities drive the adaptive reuse of heritage spaces? How to engage people in adaptive reuse with the help of participatory processes and inclusive governance? How to move heritage buildings out of real estate speculation? How to create economic models that have a positive impact on an area and a local community?

Open Heritage. Community-Driven Adaptive Reuse in Europe is a new book published by Birkhäuser, co-edited by Eutropian’s Levente Polyak, building on the research project OpenHeritage.

Heritage is a crucial component of our individual and collective identities, communities and social infrastructure as well as our urban and rural fabrics. Heritage assets, central to the imagination of residents of an area or a broader community, enable people to create spaces of sociability, develop new businesses, create new welfare services, implement the logic of the circular use of land and resources and experiment with new forms of decision-making. 

Offering a set of guidelines to develop cultural heritage for the future, the book brings together a series of case studies, analyses and stories of adaptive heritage reuse projects from across Europe, with a particular attention to initiatives to valorise the heritage value of buildings, non-speculative financial and economic models, inclusive governance structures, community engagement and positive territorial impact. 

Open Heritage, the book builds on Open Heritage, the H2020-funded project of 2018-2022, based on the urgent demand that a sustainable development of our cultural heritage in times of climate change, social inequality and the polarisation of society is only possible if we open up the definition of cultural heritage, make planning processes more inclusive and enlarge the circle of people who can be involved in its care.

Read more about the project here, read in-depth case studies here and and watch the case study videos here

Read more about Eutropian’s heritage-related work here.

Open Heritage. Community-Driven Adaptive Reuse in Europe: Best Practice

Edited by: Heike Oevermann, Levente Polyák, Hanna Szemzö, Harald A. Mieg

Publisher: Birkhäuser, Basel, 2023 

Format: Paper size B5, 216 pages 

ISBN 978-3-0356-2680-3

Authors: Heike Oevermann, Levente Polyák, Hanna Szemzö, Harald A. Mieg, Daniela Patti, Loes Veldpaus, Andrea Giuliano, Ashley Mason, Martin Hulse, John Pendlebury, Giovanni Pagano, Volodymyr Kulikov, Sophie Bod, Lukács Hayes, Iryna Sklokina, Andrea Tönkő, Federica Fava, Katarzyna Sadowy, Jorge Mosquera, Dominika P. Brodowicz, Giovanni Caudo, Dóra Mérai, Hanne van Gils 

Copy Editing: Dave Morris 

Proofreading: Julia Dawson 

Project management: Baharak Tajbakhsh, Regina Herr 

Production: Bettina R. Algieri 

Layout, cover design and typesetting: HE&AD Büro für Gestaltung, Roman Heinrich, Ronald Adolf 

The book is available at

Browse the publication on Issuu

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