Adaptive Reuse of Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam: identifying challenges and solutions through the Historic Urban Landscape approach

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific


The conservation of cultural heritage through its adaptive reuse supports the transition towards circular cities enhancing urban liveability while tackling challenges such as resource scarcity (UN SDG target 11.4). Cultural heritage adaptive reuse also prevents waste production (UN SDG target 12.5) by regenerating this non-renewable resource. By maintaining heritage resources and their values over time, adaptive reuse comes out as a circular practice that can boost wellbeing and create new values, e.g. job creation and spillover effect. It also allows to implement circular models within its process, e.g. circular business, financial, and governance models. Currently, the knowledge on challenges affecting cultural heritage adaptive reuse is limited in scope, geographical setting, and stakeholders’ contribution. Therefore, this study seeks to identify what challenges cultural heritage adaptive reuse entails and how to overcome them addressing these limitations.

Challenges and solutions for cultural heritage adaptive reuse are identified using the steps and tools of the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach, a holistic and integrated approach, set forward in the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape. This identification is based on a case study analysis entailing a workshop in the city of Amsterdam. A wide range of [46] stakeholders from the public, private, and civic sectors participated, including representatives of the Municipality of Amsterdam, NGOs, developers, and researchers. The qualitative data derived from the reflections of the stakeholders were analysed through content analysis, identifying the challenges for cultural heritage adaptive reuse in Amsterdam. These challenges are mainly related to the domains of knowledge, interest, and civic engagement. In sum, this research provides insights in cultural heritage adaptive reuse practices by enabling a better understanding of challenges from multiple stakeholders’ perspectives. This research also raises awareness on challenges and provides solutions and tools to overcome them while promoting the transition from a reactive towards a proactive attitude in adaptive reuse practices.
Period26 Nov 2019
Event titleInternational LDE - heritage conference "Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals"
Event typeConference
LocationDelft, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • adaptive reuse
  • cultural heritage
  • historic urban landscape approach
  • circular economy
  • amsterdam