Fact Sheet Case Study Visby

Country Sweden
City Visby
District The historic city of Visby which is within the medieval city wall
Climate Continental (Dfb)
Type of district Visby, located on the island of Gotland, is an example of a north European medieval walled trading town which preserves a townscape and assemblage of high-quality ancient buildings that illustrate graphically the form and function of this type of significant human settlement. Even though the character of the town is medieval, there is a wide range of historic buildings representing various time periods and construction types. Visby is representative of many European historic city centers where the building constructions and conservation aspects set a limit to energy performance. Tourism is important and thus preserving buildings and townscape is an essential factor for a sustainable management of the city and its built heritage.
Classification Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site
Type of intervention Urban analysis: validation of the structured categorization method, implementation of the multiscale data model, validation of the Transferable Models, categorization tool and the DSS (LoDM II).
Suitability of intervention The city of Visby had already an inventory regarding the buildings of the historic district. It was possible to develop the multiscale data model in a medium level of completion and therefore to validate the DSS in LoDM II.
Scope of intervention To evaluate the applicability of the categorization method and tool and the Transferable Models method, along with the multiscale data model and the DSS in the Level of Decision Making (LoDM) II.
Information requirements In Visby a medium level of information scenario was intended to study: with the information available is going to be possible to validate the categorization method and tool and develop the multiscale data model in a medium level of completion and therefore to validate the LoDM II.
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Description

Visby is located on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. The historic centre of Visby is an example of a north European, medieval, walled trading town, which preserves with remarkable completeness a townscape and assemblage of high-quality ancient buildings that illustrate graphically the form and function of this type of significant human settlement.

The urban fabric and overall townscape of Visby is its most important quality. Even though the character of the town is medieval, there is a wide range of historic buildings representing various time periods and construction types. Visby is representative for many European historic city centres where the building construction and conservation aspects set a limit to energy performance. Tourism is important and thus preserving buildings and townscape is an essential factor for a sustainable management of the city and its built heritage.

The municipality has set very high standards for energy efficiency and they have launched a new plan for the historic centre, where energy aspects are integrated with a general plan for building conservation. Hence, on addition to the methodological investigation, Visby can be used as a case study for supply side analysis. The historic town has a wide spread network for district heating. The main energy source is wood chips. This allows the owners of historic buildings to use renewable energy without harmful interventions in their buildings. The potential and limits to this approach can be extrapolated on a European level.

The Visby case study is coordinated by the EFFESUS partner UU together with the city’s municipal administration.

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