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The Sustainable Viability of Adaptive Reuse of Historic Buildings: the experiences of Two World Heritage Old Cities; Bethlehem in Palestine and Visby in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History, Conservation.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History, Conservation.
2015 (English)In: International Invention Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, ISSN 2408-7238, Vol. 2, no 4, 52-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper aims at investigating the viability of adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings (religious, Nobel Architecture, residential, commercial, and other) and the impact it has on the sustainability of existing environment in Bethlehem and Visby. There are many historic buildings in Bethlehem and Visby that are unique in their history, architecture, and built environment. This paper explores the importance of adaptive reuse by looking at several examples of reused historic buildings in both cities. The examples illustrate the viability of adaptive reuse in terms of sustainability; economic impact, affordable function, vitality of social life, and usability of existing urban resources and energy saving. The paper advocates policy makers is to increase the adaptive reuse policy within abandoned old cities as an integral tool of regeneration and sustainability policies. A comparative study of Palestine (Bethlehem) and Sweden (Visby) focuses on the experiences of two cities where conversions have registered a significant impact in terms of new facilities and businesses creation and has had a positive impact on the life both city centers. A survey of building owners, governors and local community leadership in Bethlehem old city and the old city of Visby, interviews, and a review of literature concerning adaptive reuse of historic buildings are used as a tool of conducting qualitative and comparative research. The researcher’s perception is that adaptive reuse with social life regeneration, economic development activities, and energy efficiency serve the key concepts of sustainability; in addition to the local community perception of adaptive reuse as a viable option to demolition and redevelopment of existing facilities. The research recommends key implications for local governments in Sweden and Palestine as they eventually provide a theoretical framework that can be incorporated in the decision-making processes for adaptive reuse projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 2, no 4, 52-66 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainable development, Adaptive reuse, Historic conservation
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
History of Art
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269800OAI: diva2:885177
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2015-12-18Bibliographically approved

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Ijla, AkramBroström, Tor
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