The Role of Community-Led Initiatives in the Circularity-Based Heritage Revitalization

Tira Y., Türkoğlu H.

International Conference on Cultural Sustainable Tourism, CST 2022, Virtual, Online, 22 November 2022, pp.163-174 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-031-49536-6_17
  • City: Virtual, Online
  • Page Numbers: pp.163-174
  • Keywords: Circular approach, Community-led revitalization, Cultural governance, Heritage revitalization
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Community-led revitalization is a catalyst for promoting and valuing heritage centers. It enhances their conservation while empowering the community to take ownership of their cultural heritage and recognize its potential to drive local development. Several historic cities that had previously been significant for their heritage value for local identities, became under threat of decay or have become derelict. Some historic cities are suffering due to the legacy of centralized planning systems, limited capacity, and resources at the local level, which constrains them to deal with the growing responsibilities of decentralization and economic transition. In many countries going through economic and political transitional periods, innovative ways of addressing the challenges faced by heritage revitalization became needed for activating innovative powers in communities, i.e. circularity-based initiatives. One such example of inner old city witnessing a transitional political period and a gradual move from the linear economy to the circular economy in its governance strategy is the Medina of Tunis UNESCO World Heritage City. Several circular approach-based civil society initiatives are reconnecting the community with their tangible and intangible heritage based on local revitalization programs. This study presents key points on the community-led revitalization policy under the arch of the circular city concept. It provides food for thought on both opportunities and issues community-led heritage revitalization initiatives can present when meeting new trends in the economy. As a methodology, this study uses empirical research followed by a case study exploration. It opens up an examination of the existing relationship between circularity-based heritage revitalization and community-led initiatives. It concludes that the Medina of Tunis community-led revitalization initiatives are a witness to the sharing economy and circularity.