Annual Conference on Urban Preservation 2023: Identity and common good

Thursday, 26th of October 2023

Poster of the annual conference © städtebau

Identity and common good - Building stock as a resource for culture and education

Venue: Karl - Schüßler - Saal | TH Köln

Societal demands on cultural and educational institutions are increasing: in addition to energy standards, it is a question of equipment and quality of use that are taken as a basis for the future viability of buildings and facilities. In many cases, further development or upgrading of existing buildings is not considered, as this is usually considered too cost-intensive and risky. In addition, there are a few examples of outstanding cultural buildings that are being renovated and converted at extremely high cost. The so-called refurbishment backlog in many public buildings, combined with technical and legal requirements, seems to favor the demolition of existing buildings and new construction in many cases. 

The goals of climate neutrality and sustainable management are not in line with this practice of building management in the public sector. Added to this is the social and urban significance of this special building stock, which has a high identification value and characterizes neighborhoods and city centers. These public infrastructures are central meeting places that can also meet future requirements through respectful conversion and further development. In this context, the qualification of the existing buildings and the involvement of local actors in the processes are essential contributions to a development of public buildings that is oriented toward the common good. In addition, there is the social and urban significance of this special building stock, which has a high identification value and characterizes neighborhoods and city centers, and which is often listed due to its testimonial value in terms of urban development history.

In the course of current discussions about resource protection and public welfare-oriented urban development, the following questions arise: What role do the existing public buildings for culture and education play for identity and public welfare? What are the key opportunities for further quality development? What new uses can be linked to the existing stock? Are the economic advantages of demolition and new construction in terms of life cycle and long-term use really that high? What do we include in the calculations - and what not? How can the building cultural value and social functions be mapped in the assessment and handling? Who are the actors for the further thinking of the stocks? And where and how is it already succeeding?

Conference fee

regular 45€, Students and PhD students 10€

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