Towards Decreasing Encroachments on Conserved Historic Buildings, Users Participation as an Approach: The Case of Youth Center- Sebastia


  • Mohammed Itma Architectural Engineering Department, An Najah National University, P.O. Box 7, Nablus, Palestine
  • Zahraa Zawawi Urban Planning Engineering Department, An Najah National University, P.O. Box 7, Nablus, Palestine



users’ practices, conservation process, approaches of participation, historic buildings, forms of encroachments


This paper examines what, why, and how users’ behavior can cause encroachments on historic buildings after conservation. It also introduces users’ participation in the conservation process as an approach to containing these encroachments. With this aim, this paper reviews the literature and extracts three approaches to user participation in the conservation process, which are social-benefits, economic-benefits, as well as emotional-needs. To examine the possible role of each approach in containing the negative practices by users, the youth center in Sebastia, Palestine has been analyzed as a case study in which the process of the encroachment of the users of these types of buildings and the reasons behind them have been studied. In addition to the former, this paper presents the users’ role in the deterioration of historic value and the visual appearance of the building within the short period of conservation. Based on this analysis, it was found that the encroachments have manifested in different forms, such as unsystematic interventions, sporadic neglect, and vandalism. Such intrusions on these structures are a direct result of not involving users in the conservation process. Thus, the paper discusses involving users in the former process to limit harmful practices using suitable approaches including users.