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CNU 20 - New Urbanism and Historic Preservation: Collaboration Strategies

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Published on May 29, 2012

While New Urbanism and historic preservation share many values and tools, in practice the two fields have typically acted separately and viewed one another with skepticism. But as more New Urbanist projects engage existing and historic neighborhoods, and as TNDs become eligible for landmark designation, the need for cooperation between the fields will only increase. With the 30th anniversary of Seaside in 2011, the "inaugural" TND becomes theoretically eligible for designation as a historic district, raising questions about what scenarios might follow from such designation. How would managing Seaside as a historic district continue or differ from the code-based way it has been managed so far?

Conversely, how might New Urbanist planners manage growth and change in a historic district and how might that differ from current practices guided by the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation? The two fields can work together to promote the sustainable, walkable communities envisaged by the Charter for the New Urbanism, but discussion of points of both convergence and conflict is necessary to assure appropriate forms of collaboration.

Pratt Cassity, Director, Center for Community Design, University of GA
John Massengale, Principal, Massengale & Co LLC
Steven W. Semes, Academic Director, Rome Studies Program, University of Notre Dame

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