2. Co-creating solutions for the sustainable management of Baena Castle.


– Fostering the integrated approach

– Involving local stakeholders


The Castle of Baena is an important historical resource of the city which has undergone an important range of structural interventions. Taking place from 2005 to 2015, they have returned the Castle to its original volume, therefore creating new spaces. The lack of resources since then has compromised the completion of the improvement actions, being also necessary to define more in detail the monument use and management model.

Between 2017 and 2018, within the framework of the INT-HERIT project, there has been a participatory process in which some solutions for these outstanding needs have been designed. In addition, some pilot actions have been tested and some technical reports, a proposal for a regulation of uses for the monument and several communication materials have been developed. All of it has contributed to helping local decision makers in the municipality to build up a new integrated strategy for the Castle.

Solutions offered

The implemented interventions together with the described participatory process highlight the important role of the municipality in terms of ‘heritage management’, which is not exempt from shortcomings or difficulties, specially considering the case of small cities. The civil engineering works, to a value of more than EUR 4.000.000, was possible owing to financial support from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for 75% of the total project cost. The economic crisis and the need to offer more sustainable solutions to the management model have fostered the introduction of this participatory approach which, together with the technical proposals and the pilot activities, have brought useful results to answer these needs. This has determined the design of new solutions that while complementary or alternative, have facilitated the decision making process and the implementation of the preferred solutions among the proposed ones.

Sustainable and integrated approach

The City of Baena, as the owner of the monument, has been responsible for the organisation of this interventions, ensuring the necessary vertical integration with other concerned institutions such as the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Andalusian Regional Government Department for Culture, as well as the integration of several local departments and services. Likewise, the intervention of local stakeholders has also been facilitated through three specific sessions of the Local Urbact Group from the INT-HERIT Project and a peer review session on the Castle with the participation of all the transnational partners of the project. Different proposals and instruments for the management of the site have been developed around three different types of measures:

  1. Regulatory framework proposal developing some public use activities.
  2. Possible temporary adaptation for the use of the basement floor.
  3. Integrated management models for the site (including a Spa or other uses).

Based on a participatory approach

Together with the members of the Urbact Local Group and the international participants during the transnational meeting of the INT-HERIT project held in Baena, professionals and political representatives of the Council have been invited to participate in this process as well as other stakeholders who have been consulted and involved to various degrees. Thus, private entrepreneurs involved in the implementation of the civil engineering works, as well as in testing some other occasional activities (concerts, photo reports, cultural events, gastronomic tastings…) have actively participated. At the same time, some professionals have taken part in the design of new projects and reports and also some cultural associations and groups have organised different activities connected to this heritage site.

Difference that has occurred. Changes in the results indicator.

The main difference has to do with the preservation and conservation of the site itself as well as the integration and revitalisation of the surrounding area.

The necessary cultural endowment and a proposal for a rich, flexible and differentiated range of uses have been defined on the basis of the analysis of necessities, viability and risks, all through a participatory approach.

The testing of some pilot activities has allowed a suitability and feasibility evaluation to decide on a future systematic implementation.

Regulatory proposals for activities and services have been created and discussed, considering complementarity, management needs, costs and prices, among other management elements.

Significant progress has been made in the citizen dynamics of esteem, identity and appropriation of the cultural heritage of the municipality.

Interest to be used by other European cities

Problems in cultural heritage management are common to small and medium-sized European cities, from making decisions regarding investment to the management model or the public use strategy.

The case highlights the importance and the opportunity to promote participatory processes no matter the moment in the project’s life cycle.

Furthermore, it proves the interest in adding new innovative initiatives in a flexible and complementary manner, allowing for the redirection of the initial plans when these are proved unfeasible or unsustainable.

A cocktail of simple regulatory rules for public use combined with small pilot actions and the development of basic technical reports, as well as effective communication proposals can contribute to the launching, even if temporary, of resources that require complex and costly interventions.

Main facts and figures

  • Intervention area: 4250 m2
  • Working meetings and participatory meetings:
  • Technical documents: 1. Use and requirements Plan of Baena Castle (support study for the work of the Local Group, developed by the Technical Architect, Angela De Las Morenas) 2. Peer Review Report from Kick off Meeting in Baena, INT-HERIT Project (Sept.2017) 3. Report on proposals from ULG meetings 27/11/17, 24/01/18 and 21/03/18 4. Report that contains several proposals for the regulation of cultural, social and tourist uses of Baena Castle, and the corresponding public prices.
  • Awards: Best architectural project of the year in the category “Architecture + Preservation” of the prestigious Architizer A+ Awards 2017
  • Some communication resources generated: * Video about the Castle produced by Baena City Council and the Córdoba province council. * Video ‘ Popular voices’ about the Castle, produced by the INT-HERIT Project.

Starting and ending dates

January 2017 – December 2018

Preparation date of this Case Example

December 2018

Responsible for its preparation

Technical Team supporting the INT-HERIT Project. Baena City Council


Investment in civil works: EUR 4.177.094,9 (75% Ministry of Public Works and Transport and 25 % Baena City Council)

Other contributions in the framework of the INT-HERIT Project related to staff costs and technical reports.

Additional information and links


1. Developing Public Private Partnerships



Torreparedones is an Ibero-Roman city that currently occupies more than 10 hectares in the municipality of Baena and, in less extension, the municipality of Castro del Río. In the last fifteen years, the City Council of Baena has bought the area of the site that is currently included in the Archaeological Park from its previous private owners. At the same time, the Council has also led, in collaboration with other institutional actors, a successful process of research, conservation and enhancement not exempt from challenges regarding these objectives and in general to the management mechanisms. The recent discovery by researchers of the University of Cordoba of a Roman amphitheater has promoted further research and excavation works where public-private-social cooperation has proved to be successful and can so be a reference for future stable mechanisms of shared management by a wide network of stakeholders.

Solutions offered by the case example

The first solution points out that it is essential having access to technology that facilitates archaeological research works in an efficient way, such as the orthophoto provided by LIDAR flights.

Secondly, it is highlighted that research, from an integrated approach, must be the basis for actions related to the management of heritage sites, before making decisions regarding the actions, investments and management mechanisms to be implemented.

Thirdly, the Case emphasizes the need to have collaboration between public, private and social actors in order to guarantee the sustainability of actions over time, so that they are not abandoned or fail as unsustainable initiatives carried out without this multiplicity of actors.

Finally, a small but essential and successful action such as the one described is not only necessary to confirm the very existence of the heritage resource, but also because it allows, as a specific experience, to extract useful learning in terms of the model to be extrapolated to other scales, problems or contexts.

Sustainable and integrated approach

The sustainability of interventions in this cultural heritage, as wide as it is in need of resources and management mechanisms, should follow a process like the one described, in a simple way, through this Case Example. A process initiated with research and the consequent production of knowledge under the support of multiple agents, thus offering a basis upon which to plan future interventions, their implementation and follow-up.

On its small scale, these first initiatives offer defined, sustained solutions, preferably from a flexibility perspective, adjusted to the real capacity of the actors, times and available resources.

In the case of Torreparedones, the integration of this specific action in the Amphitheater, whatever its future projection, should have an impact on the already outdated Master Plan of the site which needs to be updated and to include management tasks and public uses that go beyond the mere archaeological intervention at the origin of this Plan.

Based on a participatory approach

Women as an active part in the work done in Torreparedones

The main actors involved, in the context of the described Example Case, are mentioned below:

  • University of Córdoba (UCO): researchers, professors, scholars, students
  • External professionals: Santiago Rodero (contracted external Archaeologist) and Massimo Gasparini (Archaeologist and Doctor hired by the UCO, Torreparedones research project).
  • Carlos León, owner of the land.
  • Baena City Council: contracts for support staff and organization of the VII Practical archaeology Course, together with the UCO.
  • City Council of Castro del Río, contract for the geophysical prospection work on the Amphitheater, carried out by the Andalusian Institute of Geophysics (University of Granada).
  • Luis Carrillo de Sotomayor Local High School (Baena): Support in the excavation work by students of archaeology.

Difference that has occurred. Changes in the results indicator

The main difference has to do with the very evidence of the discovery of the amphitheater, taking into account what it represents in heritage, cultural and socioeconomic terms.

On the other hand, the professional intervention of the researchers and the academic university institution (UCO) directing and coordinating the action represents a logical, sustainable and scientific role for the subsequent possible future measures to take on the site.

The private collaboration on the part of the owner of the land, undoubtedly necessary to implement this first intervention on the site, is noteworthy and constitutes a relevant fact that should also serve to deepen and maintain this spirit of cooperation in the future.

The participation of two municipalities together with the cooperation of local actors in the case of Baena – workers and teachers and students of IES Luis Carrillo de Sotomayor High School – underscore the importance of the Torreparedones site for the local community of this municipality and its City Council.

Interest to be used by other European cities

The need to base the management of cultural heritage resources on sustainable models is evident. Given the wealth and abundance of these resources in European contexts, together with the limited means with which to address comprehensive interventions, the cooperation between actors is critical, both in its early stages and in successive planning, implementation and follow-up phases.

In the specific case of archaeological sites, the feasibility and necessary efficiency of intervention and management programmes can be cleverly guided from the start by means of small-scale actions such as the one described, capable of establishing limits, prudently orienting investments and feeding strategies of cooperation between the actors that can be very satisfactory for an integrated and sustainable development of archaeological assets.

Main facts and figures

“For the Roman city of Torreparedones, the discovery of the amphitheater reinforces the idea of its colonial status.” There is only proof of the survival of the amphitheater in eight cities of the Roman Andalusia. Regarding its dating, evolution and role in the context of the city of Torreparedones and its surroundings, the analysis in course will offer the first results, in the same way that it will guide the future evolution of actions for conservation, enhancement or management.

Undoubtedly, this is a finding that has a very positive impact on the value and positioning of the archaeological site in the areas of heritage and the cultural, social and economic uses associated with it. A simple analysis of the media impact of the announcement of the discovery highlights this fact.

Work in progress in the Archaeological Park

Starting and ending dates

We limit in time as a practical way to simplify the story-telling of this Case Example, two moments that facilitate this goal, while also bearing in mind the context of the general object of study, a broader temporal process connected with the discovery and works taking place in the whole of the site and those related to research, conservation and enhancement of the amphitheater, that will be defined in the short and medium term.

In relation to the works subject of the described Case, we consider they begin during the year 2016, with the publication of a scientific article by the researcher Antonio Monterroso-Checa, where he presents the process for the amphitheater identification. At the time of writing this text (November 2018), different research works are still ongoing. After the appropriate analysis, they will offer a basic level of results and recommendations for the subsequent definition of research, conservation and / or enhancement actions.

Activity that took place in Torreparedones

Preparation date of this Case Example

November 2018

Responsible for its preparation

INT-HERIT Project Team – City Council of Baena


Taking into account the nature of the ad hoc collaboration in this initiative, a joint budget is not available. In addition, in some cases there have been professional or social collaborations in the form of academic work or volunteer work, difficult to quantify in economic terms.

In any case, contributions of one kind or another and the responsible actors in each case can be mentioned:

  • University of Córdoba: professors, scholars, students and researchers. Contract of external professionals for the work of excavation and analysis of results.
  • Carlos León, owner of the land: permission to carry out the study visits and excavations.
  • Baena City Council: contracts for technical assistants to collaborate in the excavation tasks.
  • City Council of Castro del Río: contract for the geophysical prospecting of the site carried out by the Andalusian Institute of Geophysics of the University of Granada.
  • Luis Carrillo de Sotomayor High School (Baena): support in the tasks of excavation by Archaeology students.

Additional information and links

  • Márquez, C., Ventura, A., Morena, J.A. and De la Llave, R. (2014). Torreparedones -Baena, Córdoba-, archaeological research. Cordoba
  • Monterroso-Checa, Antonio (2017). Remote sensing and archaeology from Spanish LIDAR-PNOA: Identifying the Amphitheater of the Roman city of Torreparedones (Córdoba-Andalucía- Spain). Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry. Vol 17, no1, pp.15-22
  • Media (summary). Impact of the discovery announcement: