A Conceptual Framework for Integrated Conservation and Regeneration in Historic Urban Areas



The historic environment is an irreplaceable asset representing the investment of centuries of skills and resources. It gives places a unique competitive advantage. Most of it is in daily use; it is capable of an economic future. The opportunities for regenerating historic environment require both conservation and development motivators to keep a unique sense of the historic environment whilst allowing to flourish, adopt and grow to meet the needs of 21stcentury. However, one of the strongest arguments for conservation ought to be that a historic place has multiple layers of ’value’ to its community or agencies involved in the management of historic environments. There is a need to establish a basis for balance judgment where historical, cultural, economical and financial values are taken into account in to context of the decision- making process concerning the planning and management of the built environment. Developing an integrated approach -establishing a balance between conservation and regeneration objectives within the historic environment- has always been a controversial issue in many countries; however, they sometimes have a type of symbiotic relationship with each other. During the past decade, these two trends have moved closer together through the concept of the ’conservation – led regeneration’ policy which has resulted from the changing nature of both policies and it can be defined within ‘integrated conservation and regeneration framework’. The aim of this paper is to quest the background of conservation and development approaches and attempt to reach a schematic integrated framework. The integrated framework introduces a conceptual framework based on its theoretical perspective to develop a more precise and effective approach to the analysis of conservation and regeneration initiatives in historic urban areas. The validity of the proposed framework could be examined on many different examples in similar or different contexts and scales. The integrated and comprehensive framework is consisted by a set of theories, documented patterns, and processes that outline the variety of factors and criteria to establish balance between ‘significance’ and ‘economic vitality’. To understand factors and interrelationships that affect the process and production of 'integrated conservation and regeneration framework' and to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework for the analysis of practical activities of ‘integrated conservation and regeneration’, this paper concentrates on the interaction of the criteria’s of 'integrated conservation framework' and the criteria’s of 'integrated regeneration framework' within the local contexts. Understanding the 'significance' of the heritage asset is vital to bring forward a successful regeneration scheme and should be the starting point for any regeneration project. Although each integrated scheme is unique, the significant impacts of the integrated conservation and regeneration program show that promotion of the conservational activities and consideration of the 'significance' can play a key role in regeneration strategies, such as the re-use of existing building, mixed-use development, high quality public spaces, community cohesion, social interaction, education, new life to run-down areas, quality of life and sustainability. The last part of the paper points that preparing an integrated framework is a challenge not only for this generation, a challenge that needs commitment from all of us.