- freely available
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4305; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114305
2. Literature Review
2.1. The Circular Paradigm for Urban Regeneration
2.2. Universities and Circular Regeneration
- Knowledge based innovation  consensus on an expanded vision of heritage;
- Culture-led economic development; through processes of transfer, spin-off companies, the knowledge generated by universities enriches the settlement and gives raise to economic benefits ;
- Resources mobilisation and management; higher education helps to enhance the level of skills in relation to both civic matters and social integration.
3. Research Methodology: The Triple-Helix Model—University—Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship—Local Authorities
- Helices, which represent an independent and organized system;
- Trajectories, which connect one helix/system to another in a circular way;
- Overlay environments, where interactions are determined and new phenomena are triggered.
- Higher Education as Knowledge Capital provider and promoter;
- Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship as Cultural Capital exploiter;
- Local Authorities as Institutional Capital regulator.
- The first trajectory is external to each helix, showing the influence of one upon another and representing the interacting processes that trigger the overlay environments;
- The second is internal, due to the recursive effect of the overlay environments and their interaction;
- The third is the innermost trajectory, which determines the urban regeneration and establishes the circularity of the processes by reconnecting the overlay environments with the helices.
- Strategic decision making between Local Authorities and Higher Education (or more in general, knowledge innovation hubs);
- Knowledge transfer, between Higher Education and Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship;
- Stakeholders’ engagement, between Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship and Local Authorities.
- The first overlay environment represents the processes of skills enhancement, urban preservation and compatible/adaptive reuse. This is activated by the Higher Education—Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship trajectory;
- The second overlay environment is triggered by the Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship- Local Authorities trajectory and expresses the ability of professionals and organizations to attract funding, thanks to innovative entrepreneurial activities and new forms of partnership. They have different levels of responsibility and authority: ranging from private property owners, private cultural site managers, small and medium construction companies, management teams;
- The third overlay environment is prompted by the Local Authorities—Higher Education trajectory and expresses the process of urban regeneration that results in increased site attractiveness, reinforcing the overall virtuous socio-economic circle.
- Knowledge based innovation;
- Culture-led economic development;
- Commitment in resources management.
4. The Case Study of Ortigia, Syracuse
5. Results and Discussion: The Triple-Helix Model for Ortigia
- Knowledge based innovation;
- Culture-led economic development;
- Commitment in resources management.
5.1. The Overlay Environments
5.2. External Trajectories
- Strategic decision-making between Local Authorities and Higher Education (or more in general, knowledge innovation hubs). The activation of this trajectory takes place following a political choice: the local authority invests financial resources to allow the establishment and growth of the University and enhance local culture. The data here presented shows how the support received from the territorial entities played a catalyst role in the regeneration of Ortigia. In 1996, the Regional Province of Syracuse and the Municipality signed an agreement with the University. The Province guaranteed 4,200,000 Italian liras for instrumental resources and quotas for teaching staff resources as well as technical-administrative personnel (1997–2003). The Municipality provided the monastery of San Domenico, as well as other properties, to temporarily host the University.
- Knowledge transfer between Higher Education and Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship. In this case, it is the University that activates the trajectory. In Ortigia, Higher Education playedthe fundamental role of culture promoter by training local professionals. The consequences of the activation of this trajectory can be seen in the ever growing percentage of architects registered in the Province of Syracuse and graduated in Syracuse. These architects acquired specific skills on local building techniques, building types and materials. The university promoted professional schools, specialization courses and cultural initiatives widening the training offer in the historic building sector.
- Stakeholders’ engagement, between Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship and Local Authorities. The ability of cultural heritage to attract public and private funding triggers the trajectory thanks to the interest ofstakeholders to invest both on built heritage and related industries. The exemplification of the trajectory is traceable in the impacts of the National and Regional laws for Ortigia and the consequent awarding of the World Heritage Site status by UNESCO, which attracted further public funding. In particular, the PRU and URBAN projects contributed to finance urban and building renewal and improve services for citizens, involving the Municipality, private entrepreneurs and other public organizations, such as the Independent Institute for Social Housing (IACP), the Ministry for Public Works, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Regional Authorities for Cultural Heritage Preservation and the University itself. Furthermore, the implementation of the laws n. 70/1976, n. 34/85 and n. 25/1993 (concerning measures for productive employment in Sicily, which allocated 4000 million Italian liras in Ortigia) financed works on facades, roofs, staircases and courtyards of buildings used for housing, commercial and handcrafted activities.
5.3. From Strategic Decision Making to Place Making in Ortigia: The Innermost Trajectories
- Knowledge based innovation (Figure 17); 1. Cardboard Pavilion (2012), 2. Paleochristian Basilica of San Pietro (2008), 3. Maniace Castle (2016);
- Culture-led economic development (Figure 18); 4. Ancient market (1997), 5. Dwelling for students at the Giudecca (2010);
- Commitment in resources management (Figure 19); 6. OribePavillion (2006), 7. Impact Hub (2013).
Conflicts of Interest
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|Overlay Environment||Indicator||Data||Source of Data Used|
|Skills specialization||Percentage of buildings in good conservation state||Increase in number of buildings in good conservation state over total historic building stock wrt to medium sized cities in Eastern Sicily||National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) Census (Figure 6a)|
|Percentage of buildings in state of disrepair||Decrease in number of buildings in state of disrepair over total historic building stock wrt to medium sized cities in Eastern Sicily||National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) Census (Figure 6b)|
|Number of applications approved by LA on private-owned buildings||Increase in number of applications approved by LA for maintenance and restoration works on private-owned buildings in Ortigia||Municipality of Syracuse, Ufficio per il Centro Storico Ortigia (Figure 8)|
|Skills enhancement in the construction sector||Percentage of Architects wrt to whole resident population (Syracuse—Messina—Ragusa)||Architectural Registration Board of Syracuse—Messina—Ragusa (Figure 9)|
|Funding opportunities||Strengthening of social networks||Number of non-profit active organization wrt to number of residents (Syracuse—Messina—Ragusa)||Non-profit Organization Website|
Available online: http://www.nonprofit.viainternet.org (accessed on 11 September 2018) (Figures 10 and 11)
|Funding in the cultural tourism sector||Increase in funding awarded to the firms working in the cultural tourism sector wrt to number of residents (Syracuse—Messina—Ragusa)||Invitalia, National Agency for inward investment and economic development|
|Site attractiveness||Tourist enjoyment||Increase in the number of accommodation facilities in Ortigia between 1990 and 2018||Chamber of Commerce (Figure 12)|
|Tourists flows||Trend of tourist flows in Syracuse||Tourist Office Syracuse (Figures 13 and 14)|
|Real estate market value in Ortigia||Trend in the real estate market in Ortigia (Rent and market value)||Agenzia delle Entrate—Osservatorio del mercato immobiliare, Real Estate Observatory|
Available online:(accessed on 11 September 2018) (Figure 15)
|Knowledge based innovation|
|1||Cardboard Pavilion||Luigi Alini|
International Paper (Catania), studio Aion
|University of Catania||2012|
|2||Paleochristian Basilica of San Pietro||Emanuele Fidone||Municipality of Syracuse||2008|
|3||Restoration and seismic reinforcement of Maniace Castle||Aldo Spataro|
Roberto De Benedictis, Giuseppe Cocuzza, Nicola Impollonia, Caterina Felicita Carocci
|Regione Siciliana, Assessorato dei Beni Culturali e dell’Identità Siciliana||2016–2017|
|Culture-led economic development|
|4||Reuse of Ancient market||Emanuele Fidone||Municipality of Syracuse||1997|
|5||Rehabilitation of Dwelling for students at the Giudecca||IACP Syracuse||ERSU||2010|
|6||Oribe Pavillion||KengoKuma& Associated|
Luigi Alini, Massimo Perriccioli
|University of Catania and University of Ascoli Piceno||2006–2007|
|7||Impact Hub||Municipality of Syracuse|
University of Catania
|Municipality of Syracuse||2013|
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