The Preservation Rightsizing Network addresses the urgent issue of rightsizing in American legacy cities and neighborhoods. It brings together planners, preservation advocates, land banks, community development organizations, and other community stakeholders to develop and share practical tools for constructively engaging in and influencing local planning processes and local strategies. Our goal is to create more livable communities and lay a foundation for the revitalization of older and historic cities and neighborhoods.

We define rightsizing as the process of reshaping the physical fabric of a city to meet the needs of its current and anticipated populations.


  • We believe that historic preservation is a movement that manages and embraces change, which is central to the rightsizing process.
  • We believe that the historic preservation field has valuable knowledge, skills, and tools to contribute to the rightsizing process.
  • We believe that older and historic neighborhoods in legacy cities contain the seeds for cities’ revitalization as smaller, stronger places.
  • We believe that rightsizing is a tool for managing change and includes both additive and subtractive elements: rehabilitation, mothballing, building relocation, and infill, as well as targeted demolition.
  • We believe that community residents and advocates should be engaged to shape rightsizing policies for their communities from inception through implementation.
  • We believe that preservation-minded planners, advocates, and designers should play a key role in shaping decisions about demolition and reinvestment.
  • We commit to proactively engaging in planning processes and shaping policies at the neighborhood, citywide, and regional levels.
  • We believe historic preservation is about people and acknowledging the layers of history and culture present in our neighborhoods across the country.
  • We believe that the historic preservation movement must promote equity and social justice by working closely with underserved populations and communities to help ensure that they are engaged and well-represented in rightsizing decisions.


  • Link practitioners, planners, academics, and community members who care about preservation in legacy cities and distressed older neighborhoods to share relevant research and information on good practices.
  • Provide the opportunity to discuss current challenges and opportunities within and between cities.
  • Give partners on the ground the tools they need to put our collective knowledge into action.
  • Develop multidisciplinary partnerships with other national organizations working to make legacy cities stronger and more sustainable, and to raise awareness of preservation issues.
  • Promote new flexible tools and mechanisms to be used with or supplement the existing regulatory framework for effective rightsizing strategies.