Historic development of policies and regulations concerning residential heritage in the Old City of Aleppo

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Purpose: Housing interventions carried out in accordance with current regulations in the Old City of Aleppo, both before and after the Syrian war, are minor in comparison to those carried out without a license and illegally. This suggests current policies are inadequate and needs upgrading. Design/methodology/approach: This article critically reviews current Syrian policies and their implementation on residential heritage in the Old City of Aleppo with the aim to identify gaps and propose directions for modifications. Next to a review of the text of official policies and implementation documents, the archive of the Directorate of the Old City has been consulted and license applications, presented in the period 2018–2022, have been examined. Moreover, interviews with decision-makers from academics and practice were conducted. Findings: Major limitations of these policies and relative application procedures have been identified: these involve: legal/administrative, economic and social aspects. Originality/value: The specific needs have been highlighted and some proposals for improvement made.