Urban Conservation & Regeneration


The work of this research group focuses on the conservation, regeneration and management of the historic built environment. Our research emphasises the value of cultural heritage to sustainability, including the environmental, social and cultural benefits of re-use, the benefits of community approaches to urban conservation in achieving social sustainability and recognising the value of cultural heritage in place making and maintaining unique place identities in a globalised cultural milieu.

Current research of group members and PhD students includes investigations into the role the preservation of heritage plays in tourism development and the ways in which it is being manipulated and re-assessed in the process image and identity creation; methods and approaches to the reuse and adaptation of historically and architecturally significant buildings; heritage, tourism and rural regeneration; and the management of complex urban World Heritage Sites.

Current and recently completed projects and publications include:

Conservation of Coral Buildings

corla buildings

(Aylin Orbasli, 2012)
Aylin Orbasli is advising the 'Seismic Retrofit of Typical Masonry Walls' being undertaken at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals on traditional coral construction techniques that were used in the Kingdom in the last century. This builds on earlier field research into coral construction techniques employed in the Red Sea and Gulf coast regions with a view to their conservation.

Bath Cresent

City of Bath World Heritate Site: Economic Development Appraisal

(Aylin Orbasli, 2010) | Download the case study .pdf
This case study was prepared as part of a collaborative research project investigating the economic, social and developmental benefits of World Heritage Site designation to historic cities that was organised and funded by Tsinghua University of Beijing, China. The research methodology follows the guidelines set out for the overall research, which is also reflected in the section headings and organisation of the paper.

Economic Benefits of World Heritage Sites

(Aylin Orbasli, 2010)
Aylin Orbasli was a invited by Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) to participate in a collaborative research project identifying the economic, social and developmental benefits of World Heritage Site designation to historic cities. As part of the Tsinghua University funded project Aylin researched the case of Bath in England, presenting the findings at a workshop held in Beijing in June 2010.

Architectural Conservation

Architectural Conservation

(Aylin Orbasli, Wiley, 2008)
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the principles and practice of architectural conservation today for students in built environment and related disciplines and places conservation in its wider physical, social and international context. The subject is considered in the framework of conservation thinking in the early 21st century, reflecting some of the most recent theoretical and technical developments and debates.



Oxford Brookes University alongside the University of Cambridge were a key partner in the European Union Euromed Heritage 2 funded project, Training, Education, Management and Prehistory in the Mediterranean (TEMPER). In a collaboration between the two UK Universities and four Mediterranean partner countries, the three year project involved the development of a management planning methodology for prehistoric archaeological sites, the piloting of management plans, educational activities for children and institutional capacity building. The project has had widespread impacts in the four Mediterrean partner countries and the project team continue with training and capacity building in management planning. Contact Aylin Orbasli (aorbasli@brookes.ac.uk) for further information.

Tourists in Historic Towns

Tourists in Historic Towns

(Aylin Orbasli, Taylor & Francis, 2000)
The aim of this book is to provide guidance in tourism development and visitor management for historic towns, in support of sustainable development objectives and community development. The main focus is medium sized historic towns and quarters that are attractive to the tourist market, but historic quarters in large cities and smaller, rural settlements are not excluded. A Korean language edition has been published in 2012.



Dr Aylin Orbasli

Place, Culture & Identity Group

School of Architecture
Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 483200
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 483298