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.

Ten Principles for ReUrbanism

To guide our work in ReUrbanism the National Trust has developed a list of principles for reuse and reinvestment in the 21st century.


Reuse and Revitalization in Jacksonville


Atlas of ReUrbanism

View the Atlas

The Past and Future City


Stephanie K. Meeks on Marketplace

Listen to Stephanie K. Meeks speak at length with Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace about historic preservation, The Past and Future City, and all the benefits that come from reusing existing and historic buildings for contemporary purposes.

Demonstration Project: Louisville, Kentucky

The Trust's work in Louisville is a key part of our work around ReUrbanism. By creating an urban laboratory in Louisville to test creative approaches to preservation issues and opportunities, the work of the National Trust and our local partners are seeking to create a sustainable preservation model for others cities across the nation.

Local Economy

Tips and tools on how retaining older, smaller buildings along historic commercial corridors is a smart economic development strategy.