Because preservation is an interconnected practice, PastForward sessions and speakers will address three of our nation’s biggest challenges:

Creating Climate Resilience Through Historic Preservation

Preservationists play a leadership role in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change because buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of carbon emissions and more than a third of existing buildings in the U.S. are over 50 years old. Sessions in this track will:

  • Highlight strategies to mitigate climate change including the addition of energy-saving materials, upgrades, and processes.
  • Describe how to conserve, reuse, and retrofit older and historic buildings to help reduce carbon emissions, and how to adapt historic places to withstand current and future climate impacts.
  • Share knowledge of quickly evolving climate policy that strengthens connections between real estate development, planning, historic preservation, and sustainability. 

Ensuring a Representative Preservation Movement

How we decide and who decides what places should be recognized, interpreted, and protected is being reexamined to increase the diversity of people empowered to lead and to tell a more complete story of our nation. Sessions in this track will:

  • Teach lessons in growing the participation in the preservation field so that it more fully represents all communities, cultures, and heritage.
  • Describe how to lower barriers to participation in the preservation field and processes.
  • Share ways to provide people with earlier exposure to preservation as a viable career path.

Encouraging Historic Preservation-Based Community Development

As one of the country’s preeminent Main Street programs, Louisiana Main Street promotes economic development with historic preservation at its core. As one of the highest users of the federal historic tax credit, Louisiana residents embrace historic preservation as an economic development tool. The state also offers one of the best tax credits for incentivizing the reuse of its older buildings. Sessions in this track will:

  • Help teach and advocate for expanding the role that cultural heritage and its preservation plays in the vitality and equitable growth of our communities.
  • Share preservation-based strategies for equitable development that respect the historical and present-day realities such as a growing population needing adequate housing.
  • Highlight strategies to ensure a level playing field for those wishing to retain and invest in their own neighborhood.
  • Describe ways to support the multiple tradecrafts needed to rehabilitate, adapt, and retrofit historic places.