Circularity-based decision-making framework for the integrated conservation of built heritage: the case of the Medina of Tunis

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Tira Y., Türkoğlu H.

Built Heritage, vol.7, no.1, 2023 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s43238-023-00093-1
  • Journal Name: Built Heritage
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Keywords: Analytic hierarchy process (AHP), Built heritage, Circular governance, Conservation model, Integrated conservation, The Medina of Tunis historic city
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Several factors overlap in making urban heritage conservation vulnerable in terms of long-term sustainability. The purpose of this study is to offer insights into the dynamic role that heritage governance plays in the current sustainability debate. This purpose is achieved by investigating the shift from a ‘governing for culture’ approach to a ‘governing through culture’ approach in heritage conservation. Subsequently, a case is built for a circularity-based conservation strategy applicable to the governance of historic cities. Different indicators of the circular governance approach are considered, and useful data are collected in comparative form. The cross-matching relationship between the factors is then evaluated by employing the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) on the collected data. As a test case, the conservation strategy of the Medina of Tunis is presented. For a more general conservation model, case-specific data are acquired. Finally, the same framework is applied to compare the case-dependent and case-independent data to define an integrated conservation framework. The obtained results show that the knowledge and data exchange factor, carries the highest significance. This result translates into heritage-led urban regeneration through knowledge sharing and the effective redistribution of cultural activities in historic city centres.