The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


New research project with DPU's Catalina Ortiz as Co-investigator awarded GCRF funding

14 December 2020

The 6-month project 'Activating abandoned heritage: The Medina of Tunis’ potentials and pathways' was awarded funding after GCRF: UCL Internal Small Grants Call (AY 2020-21) announced the grant holders last week.

Activating abandoned heritage

The project looks at the potential of heritage led regeneration of the medina of Tunis (Tunisia), a 16th century world heritage site that experienced considerable decay after the 1950s socio-economic changes. The medina is dotted with 125 abandoned historic buildings, which limit the use of space and have a negative impact on safety and condition of the built environment. One out of three vacant buildings is owned by the Municipality of Tunis. They offer great potential for activating the historic quarters through facilitating their reuse for the benefit of the local communities and stakeholders.

Using the Medina of Tunis as the field of action, we will explore the potential of urban vacancy as seed for community-centred revitalisation of historic cities in LMIC through developing and testing a replicable and intensely digital participatory methodology for co-devising futures for vacant historic buildings. The project will assess the collective value of ruins and vacant heritage landscapes and identify and interrogate the potential of reuse of vacant buildings in fragile environments for capacity-building; green recovery and social activation.

DPU's Catalina Ortiz is one of the projects Co-Is. The PI of the project is Dr Alejandra Albuerne from the Institute for Sustainable Heritage, BSEER, and the other the Co-I is Prof Kalliopi Fouseki from Institute for Sustainable Heritage, BSEER.  The main partners are: Blue Fish, Commune de Tunis, M’dinti, Collectif Creatif  and ICOMOS Tunisie.