Best of 2007: Historic Preservation Proven as a Green Practice

At HDC’s Annual Preservation Conference this past March, keynote speaker Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics argued that historic preservation is one of the most effective components of sustainable development. The adaptive reuse of older structures proves overwhelmingly beneficial to local economies and local environments in a variety of ways, from the employment of local workers to rehabilitate existing properties to the significant reduction of waste compared to that generated during demolition. Even the simple use of newer, mass-produced building materials can be wasteful: nearly a third of the windows replaced each year are less than ten years old, and the energy consumed in manufacturing them ranges from 40 times (vinyl) to 126 times (aluminum) that used for wood. Once they are scrapped, the landfill space the old windows take, to say nothing of the energy consumed getting them there, compounds the waste. Read the full text of the speech here.

With the foundation set by Mr. Rypkema, the program for our 2008 Preservation Conference will further examine the future of historic preservation. With Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 as our starting point, HDC will gather a host of planners, advocates and professionals to dissect the Plan and it’s implications for our city’s future. Is preservation included in the Mayor’s vision for the future of New York? How can we make sure that preservation principles are incorporated into efforts to accommodate an additional one million people over then next two decades? Check your mailbox for full conference details later this month and in the meantime be sure to save March 7-9, 2008 on your calendars!

Posted Under: Event, Planning, Talking Heads

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