Operationalising the HUL Tools at Building Level: Circular Models of Adaptive Reuse

Deniz Ikiz Kaya, Lu Lu, Nadia Pintossi, A. Pereira Roders

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Adaptive reuse of historic buildings plays a significant role in the transition towards circular economy. The existing literature still regards heritage conservation, urban management, circular economy and sustainable development as different spheres of knowledge. The Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) provides a holistic approach to integrate these spheres, along with a supplementary toolkit. However, its implementation is still sporadic, not fully aligned with the circular economy framework, and unframed in the adaptive reuse and regeneration policies and practices at local level. The aim of this paper is thus to provide a framework to investigate how the HUL approach and tools are operationalised at building level, bridging the gap between international policy documents, global aspirations circular economy, and local practices of adaptive reuse. For this, the circular models of adaptive reuse in terms of governance and decision-making structures, and environmental strategies are identified through a case study analysis of best practice: the Pakhuis de Zwijger (PdZ) case in Amsterdam. Focus group meetings have been conducted with internal and external local stakeholders of PdZ to formulate their governance model, and four levels of sustainable governance actors are identified. Then, their decision-making process is mapped, and the newly adopted sustainability measures are analysed. These circular models and strategies at building level are then aligned with the broader HUL toolkit.In this context, this paper contributes to the operationalization of HUL tools at building level, supporting the strengthening of efforts for the protection of world’s cultural heritage (UN SDG 11.4) and reduction of waste generation through reuse (UN SDG 12.5)The identification and assessment of circular administrative and environmental models of adaptive reuse incorporates circular economy strategies and tools into the HUL framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLDE Heritage Conference on Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
EditorsUta Pottgiesser, Sandra Fatoric, Carola Hein, Erik de Maaker, Ana Pereira Roders
PublisherTU Delft Open
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6366-356-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventLDE Heritage International Conference on Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals - TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Nov 201928 Nov 2019


ConferenceLDE Heritage International Conference on Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals
Internet address


  • Historic urban landscape approach
  • circular models
  • adaptive reuse
  • governance
  • decision-making
  • sustainability
  • Pakhuis de Zwijger


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