There are several ways of defining the importance of preserving heritage. Some groups suggest that the preservation of valuable heritage should be directed towards sustaining the physical historic environment and, that conservation practice should be improved. Others are more focused in how heritage is valued by people instead of focusing just on the experts . It should be possible to have a broader understanding and to make the cultural heritage a sustainable element?It is true that the preservation of architectural heritage in historical areas constitutes an important issue for some Governments, but it is also necessary to preserve the invisible heritage, such as traditional music or dancing, which bring benefits of tourism by enhancing the unique identity of the place. The challenge is finding a way to develop new regeneration strategies involving the preservation of both architectural and cultural heritage, while bearing in mind that the heritage is constantly changing and also the perception of the citizens. The aim would be to discover ways to make the historical centres, “living” self sustaining systems which are not threatened by abandonment and dereliction, and at the same time to create new experiences for people.In finding out more about the relationship between architectural and cultural heritage, Veracruz is a good example to take. This city is known more, for being the main port of Mexico, and for its traditions and cultural manifestations (like the carnival), than for its architectural heritage which has been greatly altered in the last 20 years.In 2005, a plan of action was produced by the local University, with the participation of official institutions and a series of forums in which the residents and the investors were involved. As a result of the plan, the municipality wants to invest in short term projects to stimulate development and to address the existing problems such as: 1. the deterioration of architectural heritage and the lack of formal conservation management. 2. Housing occupied mainly by people on low-income. 3. The dominance of traffic which affects the pedestrian links in the area. 4. The separation of some areas because of the railways and highway. The agents that are involved in the regeneration process are: the employees of the official institutions, the residents and the investors. All of them have in mind different perspectives and most of them are interested in regenerating the historical areas by focusing attention mainly on the architectural heritage, however it is also necessary to make them conscious of their intangible heritage, because there are some qualities inherent in cities which are invisible, and their importance lies in the fact that they preserve the traditions of the place and because they develop a sense of belonging, a cultural identity and feeling of history.This research tries to clarify; the reasons for preserving historical areas; the actual beneficiaries; whether the tangible heritage is a key element in maintaining the living invisible heritage, and if the both heritages can be used as mutually sustaining elements.Theoretical framework/ relevant literature.The theoretical framework would be related to different concepts and practices concerning regenerative activities in historical areas, and to the importance of preserving heritage, alongside an analysis of culture as an element which can reinforce other social, symbolic and economic aspects. The study also considers sustainability as a matter to explore and its relation to cultural manifestations, the heritage of a place and the way in which this affects the relations between people in their daily life.Research question: Is it possible to manage new projects in historical areas of Mexico that can take into consideration the importance of both the visible and invisible heritage? Do official institutions and people value the importance of social traditions and the built heritage as strong elements for sustainable development?Research strategy: The research includes the review of relevant literature, the analysis of European and Latin American’s precedents and qualitative research tools, which are being defined.