Issues

Issues in Preservation

Historic preservation is complex and constantly evolving, so leaders in the field need comprehensive, professional-level analysis of the most pressing issues in order to stay informed and hone their expertise. Up-to-date, high-level information on current issues is a critical complement to both local- and national-level preservation work.

Fundamentals

The field of historic preservation rests on a broad foundation of knowledge, so effective leadership requires a thorough background on programs that inform our discipline. Brush up on your fundamentals here.

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Preservation & Inclusion

Today’s preservation movement recognizes the need for more complete, inclusive representation of communities across the nation, which are increasingly socio-economically, racially, ethnically, culturally, and generationally diverse. Preservation efforts must prioritize inclusion in order to tell an accurate and comprehensive story—and to remain relevant. Professional development and training resources help preservationists engage diverse groups and preserve sites significant to historically underrepresented communities—including people of color, women, LGBTQ, and youth—to tell a broader range of stories.

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Preservation & ReUrbanism

As cities grow and change, they should do so leveraging the assets they already have—the older buildings and blocks that have the enormous power and potential to improve health, affordability, prosperity, and well-being. Ultimately, it’s the mix of old and new buildings, working together to fashion dense, walkable, and thriving streets, that helps us achieve a more prosperous, sustainable, and healthier future. The National Trust’s work in cities to make adaptive reuse the default development option is called ReUrbanism—promoting building reuse as essential to economic growth and vibrant communities.

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Preservation & Sustainability

The ‘greenest building’ argument has dominated conversations around sustainability and historic preservation for decades, recognizing that existing buildings are inherently ‘greener’ when compared to demolition and new construction. But in recent years, sustainability has come to mean more than simply being environmentally responsible. Older buildings and blocks are a key component to creating successful cities and neighborhoods – historic fabric creates economically vital, socially equitable, and strong, resilient neighborhoods.

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Preservation & Real Estate

Real estate defines a finite resource—land—that supports an infinite of set of activities and responsibilities, but it also describes where we live: our cities and town, our homes, our schools, our churches, and our favorite nearby coffee shops. This human aspect gives preservationists and historic property redevelopers a competitive advantage that reaches beyond the paper transaction and enables us inform the process that determines not only where we live but also how we live.

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Preservation & Historic Sites

The dynamic field of preservation is forging a versatile new relationship with historic sites—and with the landscapes in which they are situated—for the 21st century. Today preservationists are re-evaluating the role of house museums, applying new interpretive frameworks to historic sites, rethinking how best to manage collections, representing a broader range of stories—and developing tools to encompass this evolution.

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Preservation & Public Lands

Our federal public lands contain diverse and iconic cultural landscapes, historic structures, and archaeological sites that belong to all of us. The National Trust for Historic Preservation public lands program is dedicated to protecting and enhancing these resources. We focus on ensuring that the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies achieve their stewardship responsibilities for historic and cultural resources.

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