This study examines the adaptive reuse of an abandoned heritage ensemble, Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai, in Qazvin, Iran, through ‘place making’, a multifaceted approach to create urban spaces. We applied a qualitative research approach, focusing on in-depth semi-structured interviews and on-site observations. The findings revealed that the adaptive reuse project and place making had created a positive image of the city and a popular place for citizens and tourists to visit. The results support the assertion that tourism place making, using arts and culture, could be a helpful way for heritage conservation in long-neglected historical centers and improve the image and experiences of urban places. However, the neglect of the community needs in the process of place making may hinder the realization of effective urban regeneration and sustainable tourism development. Through the case of Qazvin, we argue that the lack of a comprehensive and multidimensional approach in the process of tourism place making can worsen the situation for residents and eliminate the residential role of central neighborhoods. The study contributes to the literature on heritage adaptive reuse and tourism place making from the perspectives of different groups of stakeholders.
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