A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.
The issue of underused or vacant historical buildings in contemporary cities is a massive phenomenon, and the subject of wide-ranging debate. These buildings embody a dormant asset that, furthermore, creates problems and degradation in the urban fabric. To tackle this subject and to trigger real operations of sustainable reuse and valorisation imply the reconsideration of some established beliefs. In particular, the types of adopted values are often called into question; not only financial but also social and cultural.
To foster the sustainable valorisation of abandoned buildings and unused spaces in cities, the concepts of circular economy and adaptive reuse are crucial. To adopt circular economy within the built environment means to consider mainly three aspects:
i) Preserving the natural capital of finite resources by creating conditions for soil regeneration;
ii) Maximising resource yields by planning a loop circulation of products through regeneration, renewal, and recycling;
iii) Designing the management of buildings and facilities’ obsolescence.
Adaptive reuse is based upon the assumption that buildings, areas, districts, and sites are not static entities. They are not designed simply for one single use during their life cycle. Adaptive reuse is an approach that can be considered sustainable. This is because it consists of the practice of introducing new content in an existing site, paying particular attention to the needs of society, and following the principle of maximum conservation and minimum transformation.
This Special Issue aims to encourage works in both theoretical and applied fields dealing with different issues of sustainable reuse of historical buildings in the framework of circular economy and adaptive reuse concepts.
Prof. Dr. Isabella M. Lami