There are places where history is still alive: heritage sites, locations of great cultural, scientific, educational, and social significance. The military presence in the city of Oradea, Romania, generated an impressive cultural-historical heritage, both tangible and intangible, as the consequence of centuries of alternative militarization and demilitarization processes. The aim of the article is to explain that the former military areas are great sustainable historical, cultural, architectural and socio-economic local assets, with a specific function in the urban texture. The research methodology combines a review of the relevant literature, fieldwork, analysis of the evolution and status of the former military areas, and synthesis to help reach our conclusions. The results of the study underline the great significance and role of the former military sites in the urban structure, society and economy, by providing important functions like tourism, education, public administration, military, residential, commerce or industry. The main issue is the transformation of the abandoned military heritage sites into potential elements of sustainable urban development to create a new and vivid part of urban texture. Built heritage of former military areas is found across many countries and this article explain the particular common features, helping sharing experiences, know-how, best practices on the transformation of military sites to public uses in Europe and around the world.
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