Climate change and rising sea level are increasingly becoming important issues in built heritage conservation. Nearly 10 years ago, ICOMOS convened a meeting on this topic, which has spawned a number of working groups, work by national advocacy organizations, and, more recently in the United States, interest in bridging between climate scientists and heritage conservators.
On this latter note, the Newport Restoration Foundation is in the process of organizing a unique conference that will bring together many disciplines to address the impact of sea level rise on built heritage. The Keeping History Above Water conference will take place in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from April 10 to 13, 2016.
As one of the individuals helping to organize this conference, I am pleased to say that it has already attracted international attention and the registrants, so far, are broadly representative of heritage practitioners, urban and regional planners, and policy makers from many geographical areas. This diverse mix of people speaks to the broad interest in this topic and promises to lead to useful, engaged discussion on a particularly difficult issue.
One question that this conference will address, which is germane to critical heritage studies and the social sciences, is how to adapt conventional (fabric-based) definitions of historical authenticity to new situations. In no other context is the possibly for rapid, cataclysmic change more real than rising sea level. Efforts to mitigate this threat must be equally dynamic, which throws a proverbial wrench into doctrine which assumes some form of fabric-based stasis is achievable with the historic environment.
Speakers at Keeping History Above Water conference include:
- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senator, Rhode Island
- Mary Rowe, Executive Vice President, Municipal Art Society
- Adam Markham, Deputy Director Of Climate And Energy, Union Of Concerned Scientists
- Tom Dawson, Manager, Scottish Coastal Archaeology And The Problem Of Erosion
- Mason Andrews, Associate Professor Of Architecture At Hampton University
- Adrienne Burke, Community Development Director For The City Of Fernandina Beach, Florida’s Community Development Department
- Meisha Hunter Burkett, Senior Preservationist With Li/Saltzman Architects
- Amanda Babson, Coastal Climate Adaptation Coordinator For The Northeast Region Of The National Park Service
- Janet Cakir, Climate Change And Cultural Resources Coordinator For The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative
- Lauren Carson, House Of Representatives, District 75, Newport
- Dennis Carlberg, Sustainability Director At Boston University
- Amanda E. Ciampolillo, Regional Environmental Officer In Fema’s Region Iii Mitigation Division
- Jenifer Eggleston, Grants Management Specialist For National Park Service’s State, Tribal, And Local Plans & Grants Program
- Marilou Ehrler, Chief Of Cultural Resources At Gateway National Recreation Area For The National Park Service
- Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine, Chieftess And Head Of State Gullah/Geechee Nation St. Helena Island, South Carolina
- Lindsay S. Hannah, Goodwin & Associates, Inc.
- Lorna M. Hughes, Chair In Digital Collections At The University Of Wales
- Sara Penrhyn Jones, Research Fellow in the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries at Bath Spa University
- Kathryn M. Kuranda, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.
- Frank G. Matero, Professor of Architecture and former Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania
- Suzanne Mathew, Landscape Architect and Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design
- Dan Nees, Senior Research Associate, Environmental Finance Center
- Matthew Pelz, Director of the Center for Coastal Heritage, Galveston Historical Foundation
- Marcy Rockman, Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources, US National Park Service
- Pam Rubinoff, Senior Coastal Manager at the Coastal Resources Center, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island
- Roderick Scott, Preservation Commission Chair, Trustee of the Iowa State Historic Society, and Chair of Preservation Iowa
- Nigel Shaw, GIS Coordinator for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service
- Jennifer Wellock, Architectural Historian and Technical Reviewer, National Park Service
- Alex Westhoff, Planner, Marin County Community Development Agency
- Ashley Wilson, Graham Gund Architect, National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Jeana Wiser, Resilient Communities Manager, Preservation Green Lab, National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Jeremy Ryan Young, Project Manager, Pennsylvania’s Disaster Planning for Historic Properties
Visit the conference web site for additional information, including registration.