Regeneration and Optimization of Cultural heritage in creative and Knowledge cities


Short description of the project:

ROCK  was a 36 months project, funded by the EU programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020, which started in May 2017. The project focused on historic city centres as extraordinary laboratories to demonstrate how Cultural Heritage can be a unique and powerful engine of regeneration, sustainable development and economic growth for the whole city. It aimed 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.

Given this objective, ROCK intends to developed 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: AthensCluj-NapocaEindhovenLiverpoolLyonTurin and Vilnius. The replicability and effectiveness of the approach and of the related models is tested in 3 Replicator CitiesBolognaLisbon and Skopje.

Liaison with RURITAGE:

ROCK and RURITAGE signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the both projects undertake to: (i) exchange good practices and experience in urban and rural contexts, (ii) organize joint project events, (iii) jointly draw a European Vision paper for urban and rural regeneration through Cultural and Natural Heritage.

In June 2018, RURITAGE and ROCK gathered for the first time in Berlin, on the occasion of the first European Cultural Heritage Summit in order to explore together with other 7 projects on cultural heritage, the connections between European funded projects on cultural heritage and its valorisation at the European level. The projects took this further on 15-16 November 2018 in Brussels at the Fair of European Innovators in Cultural Heritage, where they gathered input to support the newly founded Urban Agenda Partnership for Culture and Cultural Heritage.

As a result of the two abovementioned exchange workshops, in January 2019, a “White Paper and Recommendations to the EU Urban Agenda partnership on culture and cultural heritage” was launched, drafted by ICLEI & EUROCITIES with contributions from EU-funded projects ARCHES, CLIC, EUCANET, Forget Heritage, I-Media-Cities, Open Heritage, REACH, ROCK and RURITAGE.

In July 2019, RURITAGE was featured as a sister project in the second ROCK booklet on “Participatory approaches and social inclusion in cultural heritage”[1] showcasing the activities of RURITAGE role models and replicators in the migration SIA.

A joint high-level event between RURITAGE, ROCK, ILUCIDARE and CLIC projects – called ILUCIDARE Playground Conference – took place on 20 November 2019 in Brussels to combine the findings and networks of those projects – and thus leverage the outcomes to a higher level and wider public.  The main findings of the event are available here. During the event, a dedicated session was foreseen for RURITAGE and ROCK to discuss urban-rural regeneration and gather input for a European Vision for urban and rural regeneration through Cultural and Natural Heritage. However, in the end, the topic of the European Vision paper shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic effects on rural areas. The paper will soon be published on the website under resources.

RURITAGE and ROCK exchanged social media accounts to be regularly updated about new project results and upcoming activities of mutual interest.

Further networking activities will be developed.

[1] See second booklet, available at: