The Right Size, Right Place Forum concluded with a discussion on the next steps of the Preservation Rightsizing Network.
WHAT ARE GREAT IDEAS AND EXEMPLARY PRACTICES THAT YOU HEARD TODAY?
- Philadelphia zoning code: vacant lots are a non-conforming use
- Land banks with historic preservation as part of their mission
- Land banks recapturing value and returning it to programs
- Land banks reaching a national audience of potential investors in historic properties
- Conservation districts that create standards for infill development
- Modified Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for more affordable rehabilitation work – perhaps an alternate version from the NPS?
- Hardest Hit Fund: exception to subsidize preservation
- Best practices: taxing vacant properties at a high rate
WHAT GAPS OR QUESTIONS REMAIN?
- Solutions are short-term, but problems are long-term
- What are proactive (rather than reactive) solutions?
- What are the economic impacts of demolition vs. rehabilitation?
- What is the long-term impact on neighborhood population of demolition vs. rehabilitation?
- At-risk vs. heavily distressed neighborhoods: which buildings should we focus on? Which neighborhoods?
- Preservation as a tool for incremental change vs. large-scale interventions
- What are the financial effects of urban renewal?
- How do we define “long-term”?
- How do we attract new people (as opposed to “poaching” from other neighborhoods)?
- How to get the preservation gospel to state and federal agencies?
- Space – and relationships – between buildings and projects
- Section 106: What work can mitigation fund?
- We need to move toward more meaningful mitigation
- Many problems aren’t obviously preservation problems – we need new knowledge and skills (e.g., receivership, foreclosure prevention)
HOW CAN THE PRESERVATION RIGHTSIZING NETWORK BE HELPFUL GOING FORWARD? WHAT SHOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
- Engage other non-preservationists as advisory committee or task force – as go-to experts. Example: metropolitan planning organizations determine regional transportation funding.
- Develop alternative Secretary’s Standards
- Invite “industry titans” who have done successful rehabs in distressed neighborhoods
- Best practices briefs for policies, programs, etc.
- Share successful mitigation strategies
- Bridge “us vs. them” with meetings, education, and real information
- Educate local preservation decisionmakers (NAPC)
- Offer assistance to planning departments to capture competitive advantage
- Learn more about PlaceEconomics’s ReLocal tool
- Train preservationists in community organizing and tracking data
- White paper: too expensive to fix
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE INVOLVED? WHAT ARE POTENTIAL ROLES?
Roles for organizations and individuals
- Preservation Green Lab: prove the case that buildings have value; help define what an asset is
- Blog about why preservation matters for everyone else
- Link conversations with NeighborWorks America
- Work with Urban Land Institute to tackle vacant and underutilized property as a “bridge” between preservation and development (Green Lab)
- Offer training for preservation advocates in community organizing and land use planning
- National Preservation Conference affiliate session, October 2013 in Indianapolis
- Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities convening, June 2014 in Cleveland
- National Alliance of Preservation Commissioners conference, July 2014 in Philadelphia