Climate Change

Preservation & Climate Change

Historic communities, landmarks, and cultural resources have a new set of challenges: those related to climate change and sea level rise. New adaptation and mitigation tools and models are needed to support communities as they learn to adapt to a new normal. Climate change and resilience represent key issues in modern preservation, ranging from incorporating historic places into adaptation and mitigation planning to understanding intangible heritage and loss of cultural attachment to place in the face of land loss.

Climate & Culture at the National Trust

The impact of climate change on America’s historic resources and communities is vast and complex. Learn more about the National Trust's work on climate change.


Training: Understanding Climate Change

Are you eager to tackle climate issues but not sure where to start? This workshop provides clarity of definitions and terminology, describes climate concepts and outlines various strategies to address the impacts of climate on heritage. National organizations and subject matter experts will provide attendees a basic understanding of the role of cultural resources in climate change mitigation and adaptation and specific resources and guidelines to begin climate work. Developed in partnership with the National Park Service.

This workshop is part of the pre-PastForward Online 2020 workshop series. 

Climate Heritage Coalition

The Climate Heritage Coalition met for the second time during the Keeping History Above Water Conference. A wide array of attendees, from national to local city-wide organizations, participated in the discussion.


High Water and High Stakes

The summer 2015 issue of the Forum Journal looks at climate change and sea level rise and what they mean for historic resources now and in the future. Discover what communities are doing to mitigate the effects of sea level rise, and find out about changes to the National Flood Insurance Program and how these changes will affect historic properties. Enhanced content in this issue includes a webinar and three interactive maps that paint a dramatic picture of coastal flooding and its impact on historic resources. 

Download the full issue

Webinar Recording

Calculating Carbon Savings from Building Reuse and Retrofit
Decisions about whether to reuse, retrofit, or replace older buildings can have a big impact on carbon emissions. But calculating those impacts is difficult without good data. This session will highlight development of an innovative new “carbon calculator” that will allow preservationists, developers, policy makers, and other users to compare the carbon impacts of specific reuse, retrofit, and replacement scenarios. Hear from the developers of the “Carbon Avoided Reuse Estimator” (or C.A.R.E.) tool and learn how it can support efforts to save carbon and historic buildings. Brought to you by the Preservation Priorities Task Force.

Jim Lindberg, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Alison Frazee, Boston Preservation Alliance
Lori Ferriss, Goody Clancy Architects
Larry Strain, Seigel & Strain, Architects

Mapping the Risk of Sea Level Rise

There are various mapping resources that illustrate the effect of sea level rise on communities across the United States. Essential to the discussion about the risk of climate change is an acknowledgement that the digitization of data is imperative in identifying and protecting cultural resources.


America's Eroding Edges

To connect the shared experiences of Americans facing the dramatic transformations of climate change, the National Trust has partnered with Victoria Herrmann, a National Geographic Explorer, as she travels around the U.S. and its territories interviewing communities directly affected by shoreline erosion and climate change.