ROCK – Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural Heritage in creative and Knowledge cities


Project website


After a successful kick-off in June 2017, ROCK project has continued the implementation at the same standard. In this context, URBASOFIA, as leader of task 2.5 – Implementation of Role Model Cities initiatives, has started an on-site support visits tour in the cities of: Vilnius, Eindhoven, Liverpool, Turin, Cluj-Napoca, Athens and Lyon.

A short communication on what we discovered during the visits and the fruitful discussion we had in the 7cities:

URBASOFIA has attended the first on-site support visit in Vilnius for ROCK project. Pietro Elisei and Miruna Drăghia are preparing for delivering a tailor-made methodology for the implementation phase of Role Model Cities initiatives.

On October the 24th, URBASOFIA has attended the 2nd on-site support visit for the ROCK project in Eindhoven, where URBASOFIA experts met representatives from the Municipality of Eindhoven (Marianne Willemsen and Sandra de Bres) and TU Eindhoven (represented by Gamze Dane). The meeting has been held at the Strijp-S Urban Regeneration Office. Alwin Beernink, director of the office, illustrated the on-going strategy for the regeneration of this particular area, a vivid expression of the material and immaterial heritage of Philips. A heritage of creativity and innovative products that influenced the way of living at a global scale. The first part of the meeting was focused on how to best set up a methodology for further implementation and how to contextualize the contribution of ROCK technological partners, being followed by a site visit. During the site visit, the already running “smart projects” in the Strijp S area have been tested by URBASOFIA team. One of the most important considerations of the meeting highlights the fact the principles of thinking services first and afterwards collecting necessary data to design and operationalise them, in order to avoid collecting data for no purpose. Small scale and effective smart solutions running in Strijp S make this neighbourhood one of the few cases in Europe really experimenting the change that will characterize our European cities in the next years: a real on-going best practice.

URBASOFIA has attended the 3rd on-site support visit (task 2.5) for ROCK project on the 26th of October in Liverpool, a city full of tangible and intangible cultural heritage remains. URBASOFIA experts (Miruna Drăghia and Pietro Elisei) were welcomed by representatives from Liverpool City Council (Lesley Woodbridge, Jen Caine, Claire Perry and Lisa Houghton) and St George’s Hall Manager – Alan Smith, one of the most captivating storytellers. The meeting was held at Liverpool City Council, where urban regeneration, culture and financial departments meet. The building itself was a good illustration of the cultural-led regeneration process in the World Heritage Site (WHS) of Liverpool. Not only cultural heritage buildings were the main aspect discussed during the meeting, but also the use of innovative technologies to increase the visibility and understanding of the cultural heritage through digital means of interpretation.

URBASOFIA team (Sabina Leopa and Miruna Drăghia) has attended a 2-day on-site support visit (task 2.5) and SC Meeting in Turin for ROCK project, during 9th – 11th of October, being welcomed by representatives from Commune di Torino (Erica Albarello) and Urban Centre Metropolitano Torino (Chiara Luchinni) and interacted with local stakeholders. During the visit, the city of Turin revealed its huge potential to accelerate a cultural-led regeneration process in the functional periphery of Barriera di Milano neighbourhood, an underused area full of contrasts, though very active. The use of new technologies to monitor and measure crowd flow (LBASense sensors) within certain points of the city will complement a database collection of public assets, aimed at providing the proper framework for a better understanding of how creative industries could diffuse from the city centre to surrounding neighbourhoods.

On the 17th of November, URBASOFIA team has attended the 5th on-site support visit (task 2.5) for ROCK project ( in Cluj-Napoca, a city distinguished by a progressive cultural-driven growth, supported by innovation, ICT and creative industries. Pietro Elisei, Miruna Drăghia and Sabina Leopa were warmly welcomed by Municipality representatives (Ovidiu Cîmpean, Dalila Criștiu, Mihaela Boc, Florin Morosanu, Ioan Bogdan) and ARIES (Asociația Română pentru Industria Electronică și Software – Oana Rujan). The meeting was aimed at establishing the framework for monitoring and measuring tools provided by DFRC, partner of ROCK project (LBA Sense – Large Crowd monitoring tool), which analyses anonymous data and provides real-time insights on activity and mobility patterns), leading to a comprehensive reading of the crowd’s nature and flow patterns during large-scale cultural events and festivals. The city of Cluj-Napoca will benefit from innovative technologies for a better understanding of users’ behaviour, aimed at providing a tailor-made offer within the cultural heritage and tourism sectors.

URBASOFIA has attended the 6th on-site support visit (task 2.5) for ROCK project on November the 21st, in Athens, a city endorsed by a rich presence of the past times, materialised into ancient cultural heritage remains. Despite the impressive testimony of the antique glory of Athens, the city has even more to offer – a modern atmosphere, dominated by a mix of ethnicities and cultures, embracing the tangible and intangible heritage from historical times. The meeting was held at Serafio Athletic and Cultural Centre, a recently renovated public building, where URBASOFIA experts (Pietro Elisei and Miruna Drăghia) were welcomed by Athens ROCK-team (Katerina Gkoutziouli, George Stefas, Sophia Handaka, Maria Felidou and Amalia Zepou – Vice Mayor for civil society and innovation). The discussion was focused on culture as a means for urban regeneration, while providing the proper framework and environment to facilitate social inclusion and cohesion through enhanced cultural heritage accessibility (physical, economic, social and emotional).

Last but not least, URBASOFIA has attended the 7thon-site support visit task 2.5) for ROCK project, during 6th and 8th of December, in Lyon, which was overlapped with the amazing event of Lights Festival (, which presented a variety of different artistic light up buildings and public spaces all over the city . The city of Lyon has a vast experience in cultural-led planning, especially after adopting a management plan for the historic centre which was entitled as World Heritage Site with an Outstanding Universal Value, aimed at conciliating between the Historic City and the Project City. The meeting was aimed at establishing the framework for the implementation task in ROCK project, which focuses on the up-scaling local initiatives in Role Model Cities. The city of Lyon foresees to upgrade the Heritage Observatory (which is only based on quantitative and location-based indicators, for now) with a qualitative dimension of indicators, aimed at monitoring and assessing heritage-related policies to support decision-making processes.

Stay tuned for more information on and on our website!


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