Historic Preservation means business

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation released a new report that establishes historic preservation’s substantial contributions to economic activity and recommends a course of action for better understanding those contributions. The report proposes new approaches to five economic measures of preservation: jobs and household income, property values, heritage tourism, environmental measurements, and downtown revitalization. It was completed in a partnership between PlaceEconomics and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation.

The report asserts preservation’s importance and diverse roles:

Historic preservation has become a fundamental tool for strengthening American communities. It has proven to be an effective tool for a wide range of public goals including small business incubation, affordable housing, sustainable development, neighborhood stabilization, center city revitalization, job creation, promotion of the arts and culture, small town renewal, heritage tourism, economic development, and others. It was to better understand the economic roles and impact of historic preservation that this study was commissioned.

Researchers undertook an extensive literature review and conducted interviews with 28 experts. An international symposium focused on preservation economics convened leading thinkers, scholars, and professional practitioners. The resulting report provides detailed analysis of existing methods used to gauge preservation’s economic impact and proposes new methodologies to capture the full range of economic benefits.

A summary report highlighting useful statistics on jobs, property values, heritage tourism, and other fields is available here. The full report can be downloaded here.

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