Incorporating Historic Preservation into Community Revitalization

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recently issued a policy statement designed to encourage local communities undergoing revitalization to integrate historic preservation principles in their planning and redevelopment activities.


The policy statement was developed with the assistance of a work group composed of federal and state agencies, preservationists and non-profit organizations following publication of the council’s 2014 report “Managing Change: Preservation and Rightsizing in America.” That report revealed that communities did not consider historic preservation when making rightsizing decisions. It offers a number of principles that should be considered by stakeholders to incorporate historic preservation into revitalization efforts:

–Tax credits and tax incentives can be used to promote historic preservation projects that preserve local assets

–Historic preservation should be incorporated in local planning efforts that focus on sustainability and smart growth

–Effective citizen engagement that reflects the diversity of the community can assist in identifying historic properties and cultural resources that should be considered for preservation and reuse

–Flexibility in the treatment of some historic buildings in Section 106 reviews can help achieve broader neighborhood preservation goals

The council plans an extensive outreach campaign on the new policy, including webinars that will explain, among other things, the use of local, state and federal tax credits to stimulate historic preservation projects in targeted communities.

An independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation promotes the economic, educational, environmental, sustainability and cultural values of historic preservation, and advises the president and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also influences federal activities, programs and policies that affect historic and cultural properties.

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