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Urban Heritage, Sustainability, and Social Inclusion Initiative

This collaborative project of the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD), GSAPP, and The American Assembly, examines historic preservation as a sustainable and socially-inclusive urban policy tool. It has been generously funded by the New York Community Trust. The initiative engages researchers, government officials, and practitioners in a series of three symposia and related publications, to advance the collaborative processes needed to inform the next generation of preservation policy.

Many government agencies dealing with preservation lack the mandate and the resources to independently explore emerging questions about policy, and the same is often true for not-for-profit and community groups. Though scholarly research on the topic is expanding, it remains fragmented. This initiative aims to counter that fragmentation and foster communication and collective action toward socially and environmentally responsive change.

Symposia & Publications

The project has facilitated conversations through three invitational symposia. In addition, the project has launched a new book series, Issues in Preservation Policy, published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

Learn more about these events and the resulting publications through the links below:

Preservation and the New Data Landscape
Symposium: Urban Heritage and Data in the 21st Century (February 8-9, 2018)
Publication: Available online or in print.

Preservation and Social Inclusion
Symposium: Preservation and Social Inclusion (February 7-8, 2019)
Publication: Available online and in print.

Preservation, Sustainability, and Equity
Symposium: Toward Sustainability and Equity: Envisioning Preservation Policy Reform (February 6-7, 2020)
Publication: Available online and in print.

Anti-Racist Historic Preservation Resources
In addition to the above events and publications, the Urban Heritage, Sustainability, and Social Inclusion initiative has produced an open-access, collaborative document, “Building a Foundation for Action: Anti-Racist Historic Preservation Resources,” for preservationists seeking to acknowledge the field’s structural racism and to take actions toward decentering Whiteness. Follow the link above for further information and to access the resource list.