Urban Heritage, Sustainability, and Social Inclusion

This collaborative project of CSUD, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, 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.

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:

Symposia & Publications 

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: Forthcoming in 2021.


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 institutional racism and take actions in order to unlearn whiteness. The document will be available around October 1, 2020 for open access.