When cities shrink: redefining roles for conservation, development and investment

Kaufman, Ned (2012) When cities shrink: redefining roles for conservation, development and investment. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

Real estate development often threatens heritage resources. Yet the investment it brings often provides an engine for conservation. What happens when the problem is not too much but too little investment? When instead of growing, cities shrink ? When instead of be-coming more valuable, historic properties lose value to the point where, far from being redeveloped, they are abandoned ? This is the case today in many parts of Europe and especially in the US, where historically important cities like Philadelphia, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh are entering their sixth or seventh decade of shrinkage. What should – what can – historic preservation do in the face of demographic, economic, social, and political decline ? Given its severe impacts, urban shrinkage has prompted surprisingly little attention from US conservation professionals. But the outlines of an approach are clear. If heritage is an engine for development in growing economies, in shrinking economies we must reverse the equation: development must provide an engine for conservation. Instead of focusing on blocking or redirecting investment, conservation must encourage it. Yet it must be recognized that in the absence of a functioning real estate market or profit potential, private investment is not the answer. Rather, we must stimulate public investment and community development. And heritage professionals must look be-yond buildings or even urban ensembles to the community as a living entity, one rooted in history and capable of regenerating itself in place. Here the ultimate aim of conservation must be to assure the com-munity’s survival, including both physical fabric and living heritage.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Kaufman, Ned
Languages: English
Keywords: Urban development; Funding; Social and economic development; Deterioration; Conservation; Public funding; Private funding; Neglect; Built heritage; Urban fabric
Subjects: C. ARCHITECTURE > 06. Structures of buildings
D. URBANISM > 02. Urban planning
D. URBANISM > 04. Rehabilitation
G. DETERIORATION > 01. Generalities
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 26. Urban settlements
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 02. Economic impact of heritage
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 03. Economic values of heritage
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 01. Americas
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2012 10:55
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 15:12
URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1126

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