The purpose of this paper is to study the sustainable impact of adaptive reuse of shopping malls built during communism in Kosovo.
The present study uses qualitative research using semi-structured interviews with architects, civil engineers, real estate developers and facility managers.
The study found that it is the predominant opinion of respondents that the economic impact of adaptive reuse of old shopping malls in Kosovo is reflected through extension of useful life of the malls, lower cost of reuse vs demolition, economic and tourism development of the neighborhood, job creation and increase of property prices in the surrounding area. In addition, the study found that it is the predominant opinion of respondents that by adaptive reuse of old shopping malls, the revitalization and social dynamism of the surrounding area will be improved and collective memory and identity of these shopping malls will be extended, including the increased traffic, space utilization and security. The study concludes that operational CO2 emission of the old shopping malls will be reduced after their sustainable adaptation and also the embodied energy of the building materials will be reused.
The study has several implications. For real estate developers, it shows that is less costly to adapt and refurbish rather than redevelop. For authorities, it shows that by adapting old communist shopping malls, they would extend the collective memory of those locations, improve the social life and utilization of public spaces in the surrounding areas. The final implication is for municipal authorities and environmentalists that but allowing adaptation rather than demolition and redevelopment the embodied CO2 emission will be significantly reduced.
The study is the first qualitative study about the impact of adaptive reuse of old communist style commercial centers in Kosovo.
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