WIT Press

Planning long-term management for historic cities. The ROCK integrated and sustainable management plan


Free (open access)


Volume 14 (2019), Issue 4



Page Range

311 - 322

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Andrea Boeri, Danila Longo, Chiara Mariotti & Rossella Roversi


The practice of management, although quite recent, embodies one of the major challenges for plan- ning sustainable historic cities. Environmental, climatic, social and cultural issues affecting historic contexts, make management a fundamental process in balancing sustainable development and heritage conservation over time. In this framework, the ROCK – Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural heritage in creative and Knowledge cities – project (h2020, n. 730280) aims at developing cultural heritage-led  regeneration strategies capable of ensuring streams of long-lasting structured actions after the end of the project. Involving 10 European cities under the coordination of the municipality of Bologna with the core scientific support of the University of Bologna, this project is designing a long-term management tool and testing its innovative pathway across the EU. Thus, this paper will focus on the genesis, construction and implementation of the ROCK Integrated management Plan (IMP) as vital toolkit for developing, over time, sustainable urban procedures in the historic cities focused on the essential role of tangible and intangible heritage. Based on the UNESCO management Plans, the existing literature and on several international reference experiences, ROCK IMP embeds the research-action-research methodology that underlies the whole project. Following this innovative circular approach, a preliminary set of goals and actions were selected (research), then implemented trough pilot interventions, co-designed and co-created with local administrations, stakeholders and citizens (action), and finally updated, considering the impacts of the performed actions to recalibrate the process and build scenarios for the IMP (research). As it is an ongoing process, this paper will appraise its state of the art, highlighting the potential and criticalities and describing what has been done in the city of Bologna so far.


Cultural Heritage, governance, historic cities, integrated management, long-term planning, urban sustainable regeneration