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Über dieses Buch

In this volume, the author describes in detail, and with unique empirical research, the many ways that saving and restoring historic fabric can help a city create thriving neighborhoods, good jobs, and a vibrant economy. She explains the critical importance of preservation for all our communities, the ways the historic preservation field has evolved to embrace the challenges of the twenty-first century, and the innovative work being done in the preservation space now.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction. The Powers of Place

Abstract
What are the places in your community that matter to you personally? Stop and picture one for a moment. You might see a park, a church, a school, a favorite restaurant. It might be a place where a significant event in your life happened, like a first date or an engagement. Or it might be a place that just brings you peace and contentment on a regular basis, like a favorite playground, movie theater, or watering hole.
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 1. Downtown Is for People: Competing Visions of the Ideal American City

Abstract
America’s welcome urban revival invites important questions: What makes a city successful? Why does one neighborhood thrive and another fail? What are the key urban ingredients for prosperity and happiness?
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 2. Older, Smaller, Better: How Older Buildings Enhance Urban Vitality

Abstract
Ever since T he D eath and L ife of G reat American C ities, preservationists have been using Jacobs’s arguments to make the case for retaining historic neighborhoods and older buildings. To be sure, her reasoning feels right, primarily because we all sense that historic places feed our soul and connect us to our past and our community over time.
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 3. Making it Work for Your City: Unleashing the Power and Potential of Historic Fabric

Abstract
We’ve known for three decades how to make livable cities—after forgetting for four,” wrote Jeff Speck in Walkable City, “yet we’ve somehow not been able to pull it off.” Jane Jacobs’s arguments have long won over urban planners at this point, Speck noted, but “the planners have yet to win over the city. . . . In the small and midsized cities, where most Americans spend their lives, the daily decisions of local officials are still, more often than not, making their lives worse.”
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 4. Buildings Reborn: Keeping Historic Properties in Active Use

Abstract
Precisely because they are old, the older buildings all around us are ripe for reinvention. These structures have already withstood the test of time, so they have likely already shown themselves effective at fulfilling a particular need for the community. For the reasons discussed in chapter 3, these “specious old boxes” are often especially well suited for adaptation to a new use or uses. Finally, and just as important, old buildings have inherent and unmistakable character, the type of character that only time can convey. Because they give us a sense of history and connect us to earlier generations of city life, people like them and like being around them.
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 5. Our Diverse History: Toward More Inclusive History and Communities

Abstract
Up to this point, I have talked about many of the critical ways old and historic buildings improve our cities: their significant economic impact; their contributions to urban character and distinctiveness; how they draw residents, tourists, and crowds to places; and how they can be endlessly adapted to meet the needs of families today. This historic fabric also enriches our environment for other reasons—reasons that, as Tom Mayes eloquently noted in his “Why Old Places Matter” series of essays, are no less important for being difficult to quantify. “Old places,” argued Mayes, “are deeply beneficial to people because of the way they give us a sense of continuity, identity, and belonging, because they inspire us with awe, beauty, and sacredness, because they tell us about history, ancestry, and learning, and because they foster healthy, sustainable communities.”
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 6. Mitigating the Great Inversion: The Problems of Affordability and Displacement

Abstract
As we have seen, preservation can save important places, enhance neighborhoods, and turn historic resources into community anchors that accommodate the ever-changing needs of society—from food markets to clothing stores to cultural centers. A central argument of this book is that cities and neighborhoods that want to see more residents, jobs, and investment would do well to take a page from the Preservation Green Lab’s research and work to reemploy their older building fabric to jump-start urban revitalization. We are seeing it happen over and over again—in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, and all across the country.
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Chapter 7. The Greenest Buildings: Preservation, Climate Change, and the Environment

Abstract
How well do you remember February 1985? I know that for more than a third of Americans—who are under the age of thirty-two—the answer is not at all. Journey back with me if you can. Ronald Reagan had just started his second term in office. Nelson Mandela was still in jail. Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” and George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” were the big hits on the radio. At the movies, Harrison Ford was hiding out in Amish country in Witness, and the Brat Pack were figuring one another out and falling in love in The Breakfast Club. I myself was in college that month, at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Conclusion. The Future of the Past: Livable Cities and the Future of Preservation

Abstract
As the discussion we have been having over the course of this book attests, historic preservation in the twenty-first century is a remarkably dynamic and vibrant field. All acrosss the United States, preservationists are working in a host of ways to revitalize cities and communities, capture the contours of our shared past, address the most pressing challenges of today, and bring people together.
Stephanie Meeks, Kevin C. Murphy

Backmatter

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