Lived Heritage Studies provides solutions to inform non-profit and private/public sector communication strategies, placemaking efforts, and policy for heritage places in the US and internationally. Our work is informed through environmental psychology, community-based participatory research, and policy analyses. We believe in the value of local knowledge to create a more inclusive, equitable, and socially just historic preservation/heritage conservation practice that sustains people in place.

Contact:

info@heritagestudies.org

(240) 258-8032‬

7304 Carroll Avenue, #190, Takoma Park, MD 20912, USA

Principal and founder

Jeremy C. Wells, Ph.D.

jeremy@heritagestudies.org

Curriculum vitae (PDF)

I founded Lived Heritage Studies to address an important and unmet need to help make the regulatory compliance sector of historic preservation/built heritage conservation practice more inclusive, equitable, just, and relevant to more people in my country (United States) and abroad. In most parts of the world, where there is paid historic preservation/built heritage conservation work, the regulatory sector of the field is, by far, the largest employer of people, and by extension, affects more people. Changes to this sector, in regard to inclusion/relevancy, will have the largest impact on the most people.

A major factor in my founding Lived Heritage Studies was to put my research skills toward applied practice, in order to make real-world change. For the past fifteen years, my research has focused on how to make historic preservation/built heritage conservation policy more people- and human-centered; heritage psychology (e.g., how people perceive and are affected by patina and decay in the built environment, the language everyday people use to describe old places); and the development of applied social science and participatory methodologies that can be used by practitioners. I am particularly interested in diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice perspectives in historic preservation/conservation practice. In my work, I have collaborated with US-based Latinx communities in Allentown (PA), Providence (RI), Woonsocket (RI), Denver (CO), and San Juan (PR); the African American community in Lyttonsville, MD; and the LGBTQ community in central Baltimore, MD. In 2015, I completed a Fulbright scholarship to conduct community-based participatory research in Olinda, Brazil, which involved respectful engagement of residents across a very broad socioeconomic demographic.

Prior to starting Lived Heritage Studies, for five years, I was an assistant and then a tenured associate professor in the historic preservation program at the University of Maryland, College Park. I was also an assistant professor for five years in the historic preservation program at Roger Williams University. My prior professional experience includes serving as the Principal Preservation Planner for the City of Denver and working as a Main Street (downtown revitalization) manager and an architectural materials conservator.

My publications, both co-edited with Barry Stiefel (College of Charleston), include Human-Centered Built Environment Heritage Preservation: Theory and Evidence-Based Practice (Routledge, 2019) and Preservation Education: Sharing Best Practices and Finding Common Ground (University Press of New England, 2014; distributed by the University of Chicago Press). My research has been published in the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Journal of Environmental Psychology, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, and the Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin along with numerous book chapters. I served as the co-editor of the referred journal, Preservation Education & Research, from 2013-15.

You can read most of my publications on Academia.edu or ResearchGate.net.

I am the Past Chair of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), where I created EDRA’s Historic Environment Knowledge Network in 2008 to work with other academics and practitioners in addressing the person/place and environment/behavior aspects of heritage conservation. Through this network, I helped facilitate the creation of the “Principles for Integrating Environmental Design and Behavior Research into Built Heritage Conservation Practice” to help guide researchers and practitioners.