Monthly Archives: March 2024

Call for Research Participants – Significance of Building Adaption through Sustainability

A call for survey and interview participants relating to building adaptation and sustainability, including the importance of factors which influence building viability versus demolition, from Daniel Wiley; a student in Town and Regional Planning (MA) at Leeds Beckett university.

Information/ Input Needed:

Participants will complete a survey to assess the built environment, focussing on building adaption in relation to sustainability, to assess building adaptions contribution towards sustainability. There will be an online survey and follow up short interview. This should take 30 minutes and can be conducted at a convenient time and date to be arranged online. All answers and results from the research are kept strictly confidential and the results will be reported in a research paper available to all participants on completion.

For more information, or to participate, please contact Daniel at

Research Summary:

The built environment poses challenges as we move into modern times such as environmental challenges which imposes onto our lifestyle of consumption of finite resources and reliance on car culture has prompted policy interventions to find new solutions to mitigate this impact on our built environment and possibly change our lifestyle away from decentralised spatial planning towards sustainable directions of living within cities. Small scale policies aimed at improving our own inner cities and reducing impacts of vacancy of buildings represents a potential opportunity for reviving inner city living, impacts of vacancy of buildings has been noted by researchers including Bullen et al (2011,2009) on adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, this trend in building adaption has been received by many authors including Ball (1999,2002), Barlow et all (1996,1995), Kurul (2007), Heath, (2001), Remoy et al  (2010, 2012, 2011). The benefits towards building adaptive reuse are seen through the eyes of environmental and social tenants of sustainability and the drivers are cultivated through the energy efficiency benefits of using existing structures and recycling material which would inevitably be wasted through demolition. The argument against building adaption focuses predominantly on costs over longer-term economic feasibility of maintaining a building with such outdated infrastructure, hidden externalities of costs involved with demolition such as decontamination and remedial costs need to be incorporated into viability assessments, Bullen (2009). The demolition decisions should incorporate social and environmental factors into the decision-making process when considering a building for adaption as the environmental and social benefits weigh very strongly as an argument to justify the need for the adaption.

Significance of adaption through sustainability

Buildings are linked to sustainability through reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency of environmental goals of sustainable development, alongside social and economic goals. We can incorporate the social and environmental goals of sustainable development into decision making for adaption and use this as a benchmarking tool to evaluate the viability of buildings from sustainability perspectives. The drivers towards adaption have been based around sustainability goals, building adaption according to Binder (2003) saves approximately 95% of the materials of existing buildings and is a strong argument in favour of building adaption over demolition or redevelopment in contrast to the economic argument over finance, the social and environmental opportunities shine light onto adaption, (Ball, 2002). Wilkinson (2011) argues similarly that demolition is wasteful processes if materials are not reused or recycled through adaptation. Obsolescence within buildings presents two opposing factors, an opportunity to trigger buildings adaption and improve a building but also it presents a threat to the built environment through negative threat of vacant buildings being disused and prone to vandalism and graffiti, Wilkinson (2011). Bullen (2007) presents the idea of embodied energy is a key response to environmental problems and presents a sustainable solution to the problem of new build which is seen as a highly inefficient use of resources. My research aims to identify barriers and opportunities through a stakeholder analysis of perceptions and experiences of decision-making appraisal processes which buildings undergo for transformation. The need to focus on the existing stock of buildings given the rising energy costs around the world has prompted this trend, extending the lifecycle of buildings represents a new life for some buildings that undergo transformation, Remoy et al, (2007).

I’ve just given a brief summary of my research I am doing above. This is my survey I have produced through google forms which I will use to distribute my survey. (I am hoping this link will work). This is the link I will use but I will collect email addresses from participants who can access the survey. After the survey is complete, I am trying to gain a follow up 10-15 min interview into some detail about the answers given from the survey. The data and email addresses will be kept safe online through google form account, I will use my google account ( to send out survey request so it might not come from my university email here. The main input I am looking for is finding out the importance of factors which influence building viability versus demolition. 

Call for Papers – AKTLD Annual Conference: Heritage and Democracy

Submission of Abstracts: 24th March 2024

Democracy is a fragile creature. As a political system, it is characterized by citizens’ participation in the government’s decision-making processes, either directly or through elected representatives. Democracy can take various forms, but the common thread is the emphasis on the people’s empowerment in shaping the state’s policies and direction. 

Cultural heritage, its designation, interpretation and management are always affected by political circumstances. Whatever the approach taken towards heritage in democratic societies, it has to be subjected to the public’s scrutiny, including a dialogue and discourse beyond heritage professionals. There is an assumption that cultural heritage in democratic societies and the proponents of its state-driven management are acting in the interest of the public good. It is an assumption underpinned by the notion of culture as embracing a social value. This can be challenged not only by different kinds of public, but also by different state representatives. But what happens when democratic governments start to influence investigative and diverse narratives, undermining values of heritage and culture that heritage professionals have taken for granted? Where should the sovereignty of interpretation lie when populism is on the rise? Who defines, interprets, uses or instrumentalizes heritage and for what purposes? 

After the euphoria that greeted the fall of the Iron Curtain, a consensus developed that democracy is inevitable as a progressive trajectory of history. The following years were accompanied by a sense of optimism, endurance and superiority, which was pervasive across Europe and the broader democratic world. Over the last decade or so, this consensus has been shaken as we have seen resurging authoritarian tendencies and an undermining of civil liberties. Such tendencies are often based on the most simplistic understanding of democracy, the so-called ‘will of the people’, neglecting its other qualifying characteristics. In the current climate, we are sharply reminded that democracy is not a static condition, but a constant process of negotiation, and that the ‘will of the people’ can go in different ways – as illustrated by the appearance of the same slogan in connection with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the rise of new authoritarian rule. 

Democratic processes are more and more distinguished between top-down and bottom-up decision-making. There are many perceptions, not to say prejudices, of how this differs in various national contexts, specifically about cultural heritage. We aim to explore the reality behind these perceptions to gain a more nuanced picture that includes national contexts beyond those in which most experts operate in, we aim to explore the reality behind these perceptions. We thereby recognize that the notion of civil society is also embedded in democracy; for example, in the UK, civil society is embodied by the charitable and community sector, which is generally upheld as one of the great traditional pillars of British society. 

This conference will look at heritage processes that operate in conjunction with the notion of democracy. This includes heritage in democratic processes and heritage as democratic processes. It seeks to uncover the Nation State’s role in forcing heritage protection and (and defying it. The protection of heritage can happen despite the state or – under certain circumstances – against the state. However, to a large extent, heritage practices deal with the care for listed buildings, conservation areas, and other (physical) entities, supporting them in their survival and thriving. To this extent, they are not bound to democratic 2 

Institutions, as has happened and continues to happen, whether or not democratic structures are in place. What does this mean for heritage management processes within democratic structures? 

We are approaching this discourse from a perspective of the canon of cultural heritage and its protection and conservation. It has been developed over more than 200 years, initially in the context of the European Enlightenment and, more recently, of Globalisation. That perspective is generally represented by experts whose participation in decision-making processes is founded on a legal mandate. This is usually communicated based on a shared understanding of values among those experts, and is justified as being in the public’s interest. Who this public is, and how it is constituted, needs to be further explored about the various heritage processes. 

This is an international conference organized in Coventry by the AKTLD Arbeitskreis für Theorie und Lehre der Denkmalpflege e.V. [Working Group on Theory and Education in Heritage Conservation]. It will explore questions of Heritage and Democracy in national comparison, including, but not restricted to, Germany and the United Kingdom. Coventry provides the venue and the conceptual framework. As the city of peace and reconciliation, it has promoted mutual understanding, human rights, peace and security as pillars of democracy ever since it was bombed in 1940. Its iconic treatment of how to deal with the destruction of its cathedral in terms of architecture and heritage is also testimony to these ideals. 

Key questions:

  1. Notwithstanding the assumed consensus on the superiority of democracy as the least objectionable of all state models, is there an indication that heritage discourses and protection practices serve democratic societies (more so than autocratic ones)? 
  2. How can discourses and practices of heritage uphold and develop democracy? And to what extent do they depend on it? 
  3. What are the different heritage management practices of top-down/ bottom-up decision-making in national comparisons? 
  4. What roles do heritage processes play in contemporary societies – both in support of state narratives and as oppositional and alternative practices? 

Potential Sections:

▪ Heritage and the public good 

▪ Heritage interpretation as an instrument of nation-building, of creating, stabilizing or questioning democratic (or other) societies 

▪ The professional heritage community and civil society 

▪ State heritage structures, the law and democratic processes


We look forward to receiving your proposals for a 20-25 min talk. Although we envision the conference to be predominantly conducted in English, we will also accept German proposals and talks. 

Please send a substantial abstract of maximum 200 word together with a short CV by the 24 March 2024. Please indicate in which sections you wish to position 


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Call for Abstracts – ICOMOS Scientific Symposium 2024

This year, the ICOMOS Advisory Committee will organise its Scientific Symposium in Ouro Preto, Brazil, from 13 to 15 November 2024 on the theme “Revisiting the Venice Charter: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges.”

Read the call for abstracts and send your abstract before 15 May 2024!    

For more information, visit the ICOMOS website

The 60th Anniversary of the Venice Charter provides a unique opportunity to reassess it as a historical document rooted in a specific context and shaped by a particular heritage concept. This Symposium is dedicated to a critical reading, focusing on the Venice Charter’s relevance in the current discourse surrounding heritage and adopting a cross-cutting approach between conventions.

The Symposium aims to comprehensively reassess the Venice Charter in a contemporary context, emphasizing its Eurocentric origins and advocating for a critical rereading considering evolving heritage concepts. Additionally, it seeks to foster a cross-cutting approach between the Venice Charter and other international conventions, emphasizing the importance of diverse epistemologies and contributions from the Global South.

Proposed Sub-Themes for the Symposium

1. Historical Context and Heritage Concepts
An exploration of the historical context and conceptual foundations that shaped the Venice Charter, emphasizing its Eurocentric origins and the need for a critical rereading.

2. A Cross-Cutting Approach Between Conventions
A discussion linking the Venice Charter with other international documents, notably the Hague Convention of 1954, the World Heritage Convention of 1972, the Nara Document on Authenticity of 1994, the Intangible Heritage Convention of 2003, and the Faro Convention of 2005[1], exploring intersections and shared principles to address contemporary challenges.

3. Universalism and diversity: Rereading the Doctrinal Documents from Diverse Perspectives
A discussion on the importance of the Venice Charter (and other related doctrinal documents) through diverse epistemologies and perspectives, acknowledging the cultural diversity of heritage and exploring contributions from the Global South.

4. Contemporary Challenges in Heritage Discourse
A critical examination of the state of the art in heritage discussions, considering the evolving perspectives and challenges that have emerged since the inception of the Venice Charter. Examining the relevance of the Venice Charter in the current context, with a focus on challenges posed by the Western divide between nature and culture, the growing importance of metropolises, social inequities, the environmental impact of human activities, disasters and conflicts, among others.

5. Disaster and Conflict Resilient Heritage
Cultural heritage is increasingly vulnerable to disasters and conflicts and subject to rapid destruction, as evidenced by the recent fires, floods, earthquakes and escalating armed conflicts in different parts of the world. At the General Assembly 2023 in Sydney, ICOMOS Advisory Committee approved the theme of “Disaster and Conflict Resilient Heritage – Preparedness, Response and Recovery” as the theme for the Triennial Scientific Plan 2024-2027.  In keeping with the spirit of open, innovative, constructive intergenerational dialogue, and the strategic focus, this sub-theme will address the suitability of the Venice Charter with the theme of disaster and conflict-resilient heritage, emphasizing its broader implications for heritage discourse, development models, and resilience strategies.

By integrating these sub-themes into the Symposium, we aim to foster a comprehensive dialogue that not only critically reinterprets the Venice Charter but also explores its intersections with broader heritage discussions and contemporary challenges including the climate emergency, conflicts and natural disasters.

[1] Council of Europe’s Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society

The call for abstracts for the AGA2024 Scientific Symposium is now open!

The Scientific Symposium Committee welcomes the submission of abstracts for the ICOMOS 2024 Annual General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS AGA2024) to be held at the Convention Centre, Ouro Preto, Brazil from 10–17 November 2024. The Scientific Symposium offers a major research, information sharing, training and capacity-building opportunity for delegates, who will be able to present and attend papers, seminars, workshops, site visits and other sessions.

Submit your abstract for a session, paper or poster through the AGA2024 Abstract Submission Portal. The call for abstracts will close on 15 May 2024.
GO TO linkClick here to submit your abstract

Key Dates

  • 4 March 2024: Abstract online submission site opens
  • 15 May 2024: Deadline to submit an abstract 
  • 30 June 2024: Authors notified of abstract submission outcome
  • 30 Aug 2024: Author registration deadline*

*Presenters and session organizers MUST register for the AGA2024 by the above date to confirm attendance. Presenters/session organizers who have not registered by this date will have their abstracts removed from the Scientific Symposium Program.

Abstract Guidelines

  1. Participants are welcome to submit abstracts in English, French, or Spanish. Portuguese abstracts accompanied by English, French or Spanish translation will be accepted.
  2. Participants are welcome to submit more than one co-authored paper and/or poster abstracts, and session proposals.
  3. Participants may only submit one individual paper abstract and/or one individual poster abstract.
  4. The AGA2024 Scientific Committee Co-chairs reserve the right to reclassify submitted abstracts into the most appropriate theme or program.
  5. Abstracts must be submitted via the online abstract submission site.
  6. Abstracts will be reviewed as submitted by the abstract deadline of 15 May 2024.

Presenter Agreement

All presenters agree to the following conditions when submitting an abstract:

  1. Agree that if the abstract is accepted, ICOMOS has permission to publish the abstract in printed and/or electronic formats.
  2. Agree to have their papers published in printed and/or electronic formats, and their presentation broadcasted online and through the platforms used by ICOMOS.
  3. Intend to register for and attend the AGA2024 Scientific Symposium and pay the appropriate registration fee by 30 Aug 2024.

Failure to register by 30 Aug 2024 will result in the following:

  • The proposal being withdrawn from the AGA2024 Scientific Symposium.
  • The submitter will not be allowed to present their abstract at the meeting.
  • The abstract will not be citable as being part of the ICOMOS AGA2024 Scientific Symposium Proceedings.