Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: May 04, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816 | Print ISBN: 9781412996822 | Online ISBN: 9781412973816| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Historic preservation helps cities achieve sustainability in three interrelated ways. First, by definition, preservation is ecologically sustainable. The adaptive reuse of old buildings conserves the resources used in their production. Second, historic buildings and landscapes provide an economic benefit to communities. Preserving historic districts is a reminder of the past as well as an investment in the future of the community, which can enhance property values and improve the local tax base while also being used as a marketing tool. Finally, preservation is socially sustainable because it preserves traditional cultural values. Preservation can act as a tool to unite a community and promote citizen participation. Although generally seen as a positive planning activity, historic preservation is not without thoughtful criticism. Critics of historic preservation identify three main critiques: authenticity, consumerism, and power. Uneasy with the pace of change facing the rapidly industrializing late-19th- and early-20th-century city, citizens became sentimental and ...