Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The Governance Context for Adaptive Heritage Reuse: A Review and Typology of Fifteen European Countries

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dora Merai, Dr Loes VeldpausORCiD, Professor John Pendlebury



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Recent years have seen growing international interest in the practice of ‘adaptive reuse’ of heritage buildings, promoted as a financially more viable and environmentally sustainable way to achieve both regeneration and conservation. In parallel, adaptive reuse has emerged as an aim in national policy frameworks and EU governance. Much of the writing on adaptive reuse reflects its nature as a design practice and concentrates on the material form intervention may take. This paper has a different approach, considering the institutional factors that support adaptive reuse occurring, as part of a multi-faceted and complex conservation-planning assemblage, across fifteen European countries. Focusing on regulatory systems for heritage and planning, governance systems, human and financial resources and policies on civic engagement and participation, thematic analysis is used to generate a typology of approaches across the continent, grouping the countries considered into three clusters. The typology proposed is not fixed, but a way to conceptualise the similarities and differences in institutional and policy-contexts that facilitate or restrict adaptive reuse. It contributes to a more informed overview of the context for adaptive reuse and the possibilities of learning from different policy contexts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mérai D, Veldpaus L, Pendlebury J, Kip M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Historic Environment: Policy and Practice

Year: 2022

Volume: 13

Issue: 4

Pages: 526-546

Online publication date: 28/12/2022

Acceptance date: 17/11/2022

Date deposited: 07/12/2022

ISSN (print): 1756-7505

ISSN (electronic): 1756-7513

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/17567505.2022.2153201

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/k03p-4s37


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric