Past Initiative News

Historic Core Cities: Lessons for contemporary sustainability from a Senior ECPA Fellow

Friday, June 21, 2013
This is a sneak peek of the lecture that Senior ECPA Fellow Jeff Soule will be presenting during his Public Lecture at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society on Monday, June 24.

The topic of our discussion is management of the urban landscape and how to not only preserve the integrity of the fabric of historic urban places in the face of challenges that threaten to diminish their layers of cultural qualities, but to extend the sustainable, walkable and cultural characteristics of these place into the design of new places. This talk aims to identify appropriate principles and practices that can be used to assist communities over a wide variety of local circumstances. It provides background to benefit the participants in tools and techniques and a general approach to managing growth and adapting to change.
My work with the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas and theOrganization of American States is to provide explicit guidance to historic cities, including World Heritage sites, while establishing the philosophy and lining up valid and compelling arguments for the thousands of other places in the world with important cultural resources in need of preservation and support. This talk will connect historic and cultural conservation to broad themes of sustainability, energy conservation and resilience.
Sustainability requires us to plan and to manage development comprehensively, looking at social equity, economic benefits, spatial patterns and environmental and cultural conservation. Across the Caribbean, while we have these historic city centers, many think of them as anachronisms of the past that are for tourists. In fact, what we will demonstrate with our research is that the character, fabric and patterns are keys to improving both sustainability and livability.

We look forward to hearing more of Jeff’s trip to Barbados’ Garrison Historic area when he heads out this Saturday, June 22.
By Blaire Curcie, Climate Change Intern

This post was originally posted in Partners of the Americas blog.