Bologna rooftops - one of the ROCK project's replicator cities

Bologna, one of the three replicator cities – ROCK aims to transform the University area in the historical city-centre (Zamboni) into a Sustainable Cultural and Creative District by improving safety, mitigating social conflicts, attracting visitors and tourists, entrepreneurs and private investments. Photo: RitaMichelon/Pixabay

By using state of the art tools, policies and practices the project will demonstrate how the historic centres of European cities can be considered extraordinary “living laboratories” in which to experiment new models of urban regeneration led by cultural heritage (tangible and intangible), as well as innovative and unconventional financing mechanisms which involve multi-cultural and multi-actor integrated viewpoints. 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 project will deliver new ways to access and experience Cultural Heritage (CH) ensuring environmental sound solutions, city branding, bottom-up participation using living labs, while increasing liveability and safety in the involved areas. 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.

The overall concept for 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 applies 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.

SEI is leading the development of a project monitoring, evaluation and learning tool called ROCKME, a web-based application to collate and store information on ROCK interventions (case studies, actions, activities, projects) together with all the data on the case studies. It works at activity or project level: it allows cities and other consortium partners to monitor, evaluate and report on the overall impact of their interventions, who they have engaged, and whether they have achieved their intended outcomes. ROCKME forms part of a centralized platform for the project and integrates an open knowledge portfolio, with a business models financial schemes databases. Further details for these are available on the project website.

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This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730280.