Why? • Objectives

One of the aims of the European Year is to integrate cultural heritage into environmental, architectural and planning policies. This initiative will promote the transformation of Europe’s industrial, religious and military heritage for new uses. Through smart restoration and adaptive reuse, old buildings and sites can be given new leases of life to bring economic and social dynamism to cities and regions.

For whom? • Target groups

Local/regional authorities and communities, heritage professionals and architects.

What? • Content of the initiative

The initiative has three main components:



The initiative will showcase examples of where industrial, religious and military heritage has been successfully reused. Creative Europe-funded networks will organise conferences to share experiences and discuss challenges.

During the European Cultural Heritage Summit, to be held in June in Berlin, the European Commission will organise a workshop on adaptive reuse and highlight best practices from EU Prizes for Cultural Heritage (Europa Nostra) and Contemporary Architecture (Mies van der Rohe Foundation).


• 9 March 2018
Shaping the Future – Urban Regeneration and Adaptive Reuse, Dublin, Ireland
• 25-26 April 2018
Preserve, Use and Develop: international conference on ecclesiastical heritage and its future challenges, Lund, Sweden
• 16-18 May 2018
European Heritage Heads Forum: Old sites and new functions – sharing our built heritage with the next generation, Luxemburg
• 20 June 2018
Workshop on adaptive reuse at the European Cultural Heritage Summit, Berlin, Germany
• 20 September 2018
Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA) ceremony at the Architecture Biennale, Venice
• 11-13 October 2018
Conference on religious heritage, Paris, France
• 24 November 2018
Architects’ Council of Europe conference on cultural heritage, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands



The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) will launch Work it out!, a pan-European dance performance in industrial heritage sites. E-Faith will run a cross-border twinning campaign between associations while the Torch Initiative run by Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) will collect personal stories related to religious heritage throughout Europe.


• 8 January 2018
Kick-off ceremony of FRH’s Torch initiative in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
• 1 May 2018
Work it out! Dance event in ERIH sites across Europe
• 6 May 2018
Photowalk in Paris, Asti (Italy) and Middelburg (The Netherlands)
• 24-27 May 2018
Open doors days for private chapels throughout Europe
• 21 September 2018
Ringing Bells throughout Europe to commemorate the International Day of Peace
• October 2018
E-Faith monthly activities dedicated to adaptive reuse
• 2 October 2018
Torch at FRH’s conference on religious heritage, Paris, France



The findings of EU regional or research projects will be used to promote the positive impact that adaptive reuse can have on the revival of neighbourhoods. Environmental issues will also be addressed, and local and regional decision-makers will be involved in discussions.


• May 2018
Three major EU projects funded by URBACT will deliver their results on the reuse of vacant buildings or abandoned military spaces
• Implementation of Horizon 2020 projects on adaptive reuse such as ROCK and CLIC


• Commission services dealing with culture, regional development, research and innovation
• Urban Group of the European Parliament, European Committee of Regions; Eurocities
• ICOMOS Committees: IcoFort (on military heritage), PRERICO (on places of religion and rituals)
• Creative Europe networks: European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH), Future for Religious Heritage (FRH), Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE)
• EU Prizes for Cultural Heritage (organiser: Europa Nostra) and Contemporary Architecture (organiser: Foundation Mies van der Rohe)
• EFFORTS (European Federation of Fortified Sites); E-Faith (European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage)

Find out more

Find out more