Hist.Urban – Integrated Revitalization of Historical Towns to Promote a Polycentric and Sustainable Development

New and interdisciplinary urban planning strategies and procedures

Historical centres of small and medium sized towns make up an essential part of Europe’s built cultural heritage and, traditionally, they have been important drivers for the social and economic development of towns and adjacent regions. Because of the profound social and economic transformation processes in the last decades, however, many of these historical centres increasingly loose their traditional roles and functions as social, economic and cultural urban centres.

As classical urban restructuring and renewal approaches tend to be ever less effective, new and interdisciplinary urban planning strategies and procedures, which foster the role of historical urban city centres as engines for the social and economic development, are necessary. To do so 19 project partners will develop innovative and integrated strategies and approaches for the revitalisation and renewal of historical city centres, with a particular focus on socioeconomic and environmental revitalisation.

Broad set of Measures
Concrete projects include, for example, the development of cultural city trails, city marketing strategies for attracting tourism and businesses in historical cities, a training programme for experts working on the rehabilitation of historical sites and buildings, or ecologically sound lighting schemes to illuminate historical buildings or city districts. In order to prove their applicability, some of these approaches will be implemented in the form of pilot actions. In addition ICT based approaches for the revitalisation of historical cities and the promotion of cultural tourism will be developed and implemented. This includes, for example, the development of good-practice guidelines for the promotion of cultural tourism through ICT as well as the implementation of cultural trails in selected partner sites.

Knowledge Transfer Activities
These approaches will be accompanied by transnational horizontal project activities, including conferences, summer academies and workshops, in order to promote the exchange of experiences, the transfer of know-how, the creation of networks and the collaboration on specific aspects concerning the revitalisation of historical cities. Moreover, the project will develop standards for socially and ecologically sustainable revitalisation approaches in historical city centres.

All experiences and results will be summarised in a Good Practice Manual on Integrated Revitalisation Approaches for towns with historical city centres. This manual, along with the other project results will be distributed to stakeholders and decision makers at regional, national and European level.