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

Events

  • 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