Publications & tools


Synthesis Report | Adaptive Reuse of Cultural Heritage: An Examination of Circular Governance Models from 16 International Case Studies

Today, even the most established and well-supported cultural heritage sites are vulnerable. Most existing cultural heritage governance models are binary with limited stakeholder diversity and require substantial economic resources – usually from a strained and shrinking tax base - to maintain. This traditional “single custodian” model of cultural heritage management and financing has long been the dominant governance model for cultural heritage assets, but it is vulnerable and faces significant challenges for its long-term sustainability and resiliency.

As the world’s physical, economic, environmental and cultural contexts continue to evolve, so must the single custodian model, to adapt to the new realities. An alternative approach to cultural heritage governance is needed to preserve and valorise cultural heritage sites in new and different ways – and ultimately in a more inclusive and sustainable way. This alternative approach requires transparency, openness, and circular processes that engage a broad range of stakeholders to foster inclusive decisionmaking and shared long-term responsibility for adaptively reusing cultural heritage assets – a principled process we call the CLIC Circular Governance Approach.

This synthesis report illustrates this governance approach explicitly in the context of how cultural heritage adaptive reuse projects can be co-created and sustained over time, and how they can engage and embed Heritage Communities in the process. It highlights 16 international case studies (ten in detail and six in summary), which provided the research foundation for the study. To view the original report in full, please visit:

  • Amsterdam
  • Manchester
  • Podkowa Leśna, Poland
  • Rijeka, Croatia
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Salerno, Italy
  • Turin, Italy
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Västra Götaland, Sweden
  • Cluj, Romania
  • Isfahan, Iran
  • Zlín, Czech Republic
  • Montreal, Canada