With the progress of urbanization, most people live in cities and adjacent urban areas. Meanwhile, the transformation and development of cities and their industries leaves behind a large volume of old building blocks and requires renovating some urban spaces. Notably, urban renewal plays an important role in the sustainable development of cities. As a typical task of urban renewal, the renovation of industrial buildings involves the protection of the industrial heritage and the adaptive reuse of the existing building spaces. Yet, the complex nature of district-level industrial building renovation work spells challenges to effective urban renovation and sustainable city renewal. Although a few studies were devoted to the renovation of industrial buildings, very limited research focused on the renovation of existing industrial urban areas. In particular, the cooperation of different work disciplines to orchestrate sustainable district-level industrial building renovation and strategies to facilitate effective administration of such a way of urban renewal remain to be clarified. To close such a gap, this research employs an approach of multi-case study to conceptualize sustainable district-level industrial building renovation. Four case projects from the Big Bay Area cities, including Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, are investigated and analyzed due to specific local policies of renovation and their rapid urbanization. Based on the knowledge disciplines of urban planning, industrial heritage reservation, and building renovation, a taxonomy framework is introduced, and the relevant sustainable development strategies are identified. The framework demystifies sustainable district-level industrial building renovation regarding the key aspects of sustainable management to achieve sustainable urban renewal and their hierarchical relations and enhances the knowledge body of industrial building renovation by broadening the scope to the urban scale. Furthermore, the proposed strategies can provide practical implications to sustainable urban renewal with industrial building renovation.

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