Adaptive reuse should be the default, and demolition a last resort.
Historic preservation encourages cities to build on the assets they have—unleashing the enormous power and potential of older buildings to improve health, affordability, prosperity, and well-being. Ultimately, it’s the mix of old and new buildings, working together to fashion dense, walkable, and thriving streets, that helps us achieve a more prosperous, sustainable, and healthier future. By transforming the places we live to places we love, older buildings are a key and irreplaceable component of this future, and we are richer and stronger when they remain.
We all have places that matter to us—places that define us, places that challenge us, places that bring us together and tell our story. These places help form our identity and our communities. They create opportunities for growth and help us feel at home. They explain our past and serve as the foundation of our future.
These special places arise organically where people choose to come together, and from the local stories they treasure and wish to see persevere. But when older buildings are destroyed, the engine that keeps neighborhoods growing, innovating, and thriving is disrupted. Fundamental to this work is that building reuse encourages economic growth and stimulates vibrant communities. Our Ten Principles outline this important work.
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