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Open AccessArticle

Sustainable Strategies for the Adaptive Reuse of Religious Heritage: A Social Opportunity

Department of Civil Engineer and Architecture, University of Catania, Catania 95125, Italy
Independent Researcher, Lincoln LN25AQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Buildings 2019, 9(10), 211;
Received: 27 August 2019 / Revised: 13 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 28 September 2019
The legacy of built heritage is one of the most critical questions of our time—the objective of preserving its immaterial values and exploiting its original vocation brings about challenges related to the history, the identity, and the quality of life of the concerned territory. This especially applies to religious buildings given their strong bond with collective memory. The aim of this research is to determine whether allocating new uses that pursuit social benefits for the community is a possible implementation of the aforementioned purposes and whether it better addresses a broader view of sustainable development, which encompasses equity and well-being. The methodology combines careful knowledge of the building, comparing residual performances of the fabric with new functions. We present a case study, with focus on healthcare-related accommodation facilities and the issue of healthcare migration, which aims to convert a dismissed capuchin convent, located in Villagonia (Taormina, Italy), into a shelter house to host families whose relatives are being treated at the neighbourhood medical centre. This proposal shows that heritage buildings, especially religious ones, have outstanding material and immaterial potential and, through good reuse practices, they provide a valuable opportunity to address the overarching objective of social sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: Built heritage; Social sustainability; Healthcare migration; Hospitality; Taormina Built heritage; Social sustainability; Healthcare migration; Hospitality; Taormina
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Lo Faro, A.; Miceli, A. Sustainable Strategies for the Adaptive Reuse of Religious Heritage: A Social Opportunity. Buildings 2019, 9, 211.

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