PastForward Online Symposium

Join the National Trust on April 3-4, 2024, for an online symposium featuring expert speakers on how preservation can help us mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

Thanks for joining us! We hope to see you in person at PastForward 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in October.

With climate change's impacts ever more apparent in our lives, it is imperative to better understand the role preservation can play in decarbonizing the built environment and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

During this online symposium you will hear from expert speakers and join in discussions on how preservation can help us mitigate and adapt to a changing climate. This is your chance to hear national and international perspectives on this important topic, share ideas and best practices from your colleagues and experts across the country, and prepare for PastForward in October in New Orleans without having to leave your desk!

Learn more about the topics covered during PastForward Online:


All registered participants will be sent a reminder email with your unique Zoom link on each day of the program. If you do not receive this email, contact for assistance.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

2:00 PM ET – 4:00 PM ET

Climate Change and Buildings

Day one will provide national and international perspectives on how the reuse and rehabilitation of older and historic buildings can help address climate change. Participants will gain insights into the connections between buildings and carbon emissions and hear ideas for how we can elevate the role of preservation as climate action.

This session will include:

  • Welcoming remarks from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s new President and CEO, Carol Quillen.
  • Opening keynote presentation by Nakita Reed, associate with Quinn Evans and winner of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Young Architects Award.
  • Takeaways for preservationists from the recent global climate meetings in Dubai and Paris and discussion of implications for US policy with Vince Martinez, President and COO of Architecture 2030; Lori Ferriss, Design Teaching and Research Fellow at Northeastern University, Principal Consultant, Cameron MacAllister Group, and Senior Fellow with Architecture 2030; and Sara Bronin, Chair, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, architect, and professor at Cornell University.
  • The story of “upfront carbon” and why it matters more than ever, by Toronto-based writer, architect, and teacher Lloyd Alter.
  • Insights and lessons learned from the RetroFirst! campaign in the United Kingdom from Will Hurst, Managing Editor, The Architects' Journal (London).

Learn more about our expert speakers.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

2:00 PM ET – 4:00 PM ET

Climate Action in Practice

On the second day of the symposium, we will examine how preservation practice can more effectively align with and support building decarbonization goals.

A series of project case studies will highlight a range of innovative examples from across the country, including:

  • Architect Bruce Becker on the low-carbon adaptive reuse of a historic brutalist landmark in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • Cornerstones, an organization dedicated to traditional building practices and resource conservation on the installation of solar panels on one of the nation’s oldest religious structures in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • The City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation on a new deconstruction policy to salvage and reuse historic building materials in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Christina McPike from WinnDevelopment on adaptive reuse projects that are creating green, affordable housing in Massachusetts.

Following these case studies, Professor Erica Avrami from the Columbia University Historic Preservation Program will share insights from her research on the tensions between historic preservation and climate policies and highlight opportunities for the future.

The symposium will conclude with a roundtable discussion among preservation and climate leaders about next steps we can take together, moderated by Patrice Frey, Senior Advisor for Main Street America. Panelists include Erica Avrami from Columbia University, Sean Denniston from the New Buildings Institute, Shanon Shea Miller from the San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation, architect Nakita Reed, and Jenny Parker from the National Park Service.

Learn more about our expert speakers.

Registration Rates Early Bird
Through March 5
March 6-April 4
Forum Member $20 $25
Non-Member $25 $30
Student $10 $10

Join Forum for member discounts! Forum members receive discounts on trainings and conferences, take advantage of discounts for PastForward Online and PastForward in New Orleans now.

Diversity Scholarships

The Diversity Scholarship Program provides support for attendance to PastForward Online. Scholars receive complimentary registration for PastForward Online 2024. Scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in bi-monthly, virtual convenings which will be held through December 2024. Scholarship applications for PastForward Online are due March 22, 2024.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your registration and receive a refund, minus a $5 handling fee, if the National Trust receives your request by March 15, 2024. No refunds will be given for cancellations requested after March 15, 2024. To request a cancellation, you must email us your request in writing. No-shows are not refunded for any reason. The National Trust does not give credit toward future conferences or National Trust products. The National Trust reserves the right to refuse service.

Code of Conduct

The National Trust for Historic Preservation wants to ensure that PastForward Online is a fulfilling experience for all. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to follow the Code of Conduct, which applies at all PastForward in-person and virtual events.

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