ROCK focuses on historic city centres as extraordinary laboratories to demonstrate how Cultural Heritage [CH] can be a unique and powerful engine of regeneration, sustainable development and economic growth for the whole city.

ROCK aims to support the transformation of historic city centres afflicted by physical decay, social conflicts and poor life quality into Creative and Sustainable Districts through shared generation of new sustainable environmental, social, economic processes.

ROCK aims to develop an innovative, collaborative and systemic approach to promote the effective regeneration and adaptive reuse in historic city centres by implementing a repertoire of successful heritage-led regeneration initiatives related to 7 Role Model selected cities: Athens, Cluj-Napoca, Eindhoven, Liverpool, Lyon, Turin and Vilnius.

The replicability and effectiveness of the approach and of the related models in addressing the specific needs of historic city centres and in integrating site management plans with associated financing mechanisms will be tested in 3 Replicator Cities: Bologna, Lisbon and Skopje.


OVERALL CONCEPT ROCK is based on the development of a shared multi-cultural, multi-heritage and multi-stakeholders city vision, which integrates heritage-led regeneration, sustainable economic development, city promotion,and knowledge sharing.

All the involved cities are characterized by their high Cultural Heritage (CH) value:
the Role Model cities have already experienced a transformation from Heritage cities to Creative and Knowledge–based cities, while the Replicators are currently initiating the process, developing transformation programmes, finance and engaging key-players.

ROCK develops and apply an innovative circular systemic approach to connect different actors, places of CH value and systems, at a European level as well as at a local level, facilitating the innovation process and the adoption of environmentally and socially sound solutions to achieve sustainable growth.

ROCK conceptualizes an innovative circular urban system modelthe ROCK Circle - to implemented such process.


PROJECT STRATEGY The strategy is based on 4 core complementary phases:

KNOWLEDGE INVENTORY is aimed at providing a coherent and comprehensive framework of the Role Model Cities’ successful experiences in heritage-led regeneration.

OPEN KNOWLEDGE PORTFOLIO to repertoire of successful heritage-led regeneration approaches will be assembled, classified on the basis of their results (effective financial schemes, gap closures, overcoming of shortfalls in policy, legal procedures and management structures), to Replicator cities

ATLASES Replicator cities contribute to the Knowledge Inventory by creating 3 specific Atlases of their historic city contexts to describe in particular the demo-sites according to 4 main themes:
1) evolution of cultural heritage and production
2) historical and cultural heritage presence;
3) social phenomena and cultural production;
4) environmental sustainability.

SHARING & MODELING is aimed at creating links between Role Models and Replicator cities using the lessons learnt and the mentoring process as tools to achieve a systematic set of strategies organized in a model to be implemented in the Replicator Cities.

ROLE MODEL PALETTE To enhance knowledge exchange between cities dealing with similar challenges, ROCK sets up two types of practice-oriented peer-to-peer learning activities: mentoring visits and work-shadowing.

Supported by Role Models mentoring, Lisbon, Bologna and Skopje intend to become national and international examples of civic initiatives, by transforming the knowledge-exchange into challenging tangible actions.

PILOTING & DEMONSTRATION: once the modelling scenario is set, the Replicator Cities will implement the piloting process in the demo-sites with the aim to achieve a large cross-sectorial transformation.

The transformation of the Replicator areas into sustainable cultural districts will be based on horizontal integration, a mix of top-down planned elements and emergent, self-organized activities. These elements will coalesce into a shared model of local development resulting in INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PLANS (IMP) balancing preservation of the historic environment with adaptive reuse and regeneration strategies.

ASSESSMENT & UPSCALING, aims to monitor and measure the progress of the whole process during its implementation and to give corrective inputs to maximize the replicability potential after the end of the process.