Why don’t we care about the public’s understanding of authenticity?

The argument that historic preservation (or, if you’re outside of the United States, architectural conservation or built heritage conservation) is or is not a unique discipline still comes up on occasion in print and in conferences, which is surprising considering that the first degree programs (Columbia University or the University of York, depending on your […]

Is there a job market for built heritage conservation specialists with a social science background?

One of the common perceptions of the social sciences—e.g., perspectives from anthropology, sociology, and psychology—is that that they are too academic, too erudite, and not sufficiently applied to have direct benefit for most people who don’t work in institutions of higher education. Of course, many of you who are reading this blog know that this […]

How should heritage decisions be made?

Recently, I came across a publication from a research project led by an interdisciplinary team of 14 people in the United Kingdom and hosted by the University of Leeds. They tried to answer the deceptively simple question, “How should heritage decisions be made?”, through a participatory research methodology that addressed a wide variety of heritage […]

A Visit to Minas Gerais and Diamantina

Last week, I attended the 6th National Seminar on Geography and Phenomenology in Diamantina, located in the state of Minas Gerais. As part of the seminar, I was able to attend a number of field trips in the surrounding area. Diamantina is in the interior of Brazil, much further south than Recife, but not as […]

A Visit to Rio de Janeiro

A few weeks ago, I made a short visit to Rio de Janeiro to talk to heritage conservation planners from IPHAN (the federal heritage conservation organization) and planners in urban development. I wanted to get a better understanding of the overall planning process in Brazil and the nature of public participation. In between my appointments […]

Fixing the Environmental Review Process and Section 106

In the United States, several people have had an unusually large impact on the practice of historic preservation. James Marston Fitch created the first historic preservation degree program; Charles Peterson started the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS); W. Brown Morton, III was mostly responsible for writing the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards; and Pat Parker […]

“Legitimating Tradition” conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE)

I received the text, below, from one of the conference organizers. Fifteenth biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) December 17-20, 2016 Kuwait City, Kuwait Call for abstracts due: February 15, 2016 http://iaste.berkeley.edu/conferences/2016-conference “Legitimating Tradition” is the theme of the fifteenth conference of the International Association for the Study […]