A systematic literature review on community relocation in the historic urban contexts

Mona Azarnoush, Eisa Esfanjary Kenari, A. Ghaffari, Ana Pereira Roders

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Community relocation could be voluntary or forced, but such change in the composition of inhabitants can endanger the historic urban context and its cultural significance. So, finding the answer to these questions is crucial: What are the main factors for relocation in historic urban contexts, and are these areas affected differently? This paper presented and discussed the results of a systematic literature review of international English-language publications. Databases such as Scopus, ICOMOS Open Archive, and UNESCO digital library were investigated to reveal the main factors for community relocation in the historic urban contexts. Results revealed a frequent focus in metropolitan regions and major cities worldwide between 1987 and 2021. The multiplicity of non-environmental relocation factors was also noticeable. Despite the commonalities of factors for community relocation worldwide, the type and effect of the relocation differed between the historic urban context and other urban contexts. The interaction of two main factors, namely economics and policies, was found to affect the process of community relocation in the historic urban context the most. Forced relocation was more predominant than voluntary relocation in historic urban contexts. However, the existing relations between internal and external factors that drive relocation must be further investigated. This research identified and charted how the local community relocation in historic urban contexts that are reflected in scholars’ publications. It also defined a theoretical framework on the factors of community relocation in these contexts and their interrelation, which is vital for both urban and heritage studies as well as planning practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-544
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Human Capital in Urban Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Community relocation
  • Displacement factors
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Economic Change
  • Historic urban context
  • Relocation factors
  • Systematic review


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