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Building a Bullet-proof Case for the Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation

Historic preservation proponents are often faced with demonstrating the concrete benefits of projects to elected leaders, developers, and other decision-makers before a project gets off the ground. Though there is ample evidence for historic preservation's role in catalyzing revitalization, creating jobs, and addressing disinvestment and abandonment, decision-makers won't invest in historic preservation without real-world examples to demonstrate the enormous economic value of and payback of historic preservation.

How can we "make the case" for historic preservation through verified research and studies? What role do tax credits, heritage tourism, and redevelopment funds play into the vitality of communities? And how do preservation efforts "pay for themselves" through added economic activity or revenue? Experts in quantifying the benefits of historic preservation will present research and case examples that help provide convincing evidence for undecided decision-makers in the preservation development process.

  • Mariela Alfonzo, PhD, Founder, State of Place
  • Matt Goebel, AICP, Director, Clarion Associates and co-author of Rules that Shape Urban Form and Aesthetics, Community Character, and the Law
  • Renee Kuhlman, Senior Director of Outreach & Support
  • Antonin Robert, MIM/MBA, President of Community Development, GBX Group
  • Donovan D. Rypkema, Principal, PlaceEconomics

Learning Objectives

  1. Quantify and demonstrate the economic value of historic preservation
  2. Identify real-world case examples and scenarios where historic preservation has played a leading role in improving local economic conditions
  3. Determine how tax credits, redevelopment funds, grants, and other funding sources impact the feasibility for different types of historic preservation projects
  4. Use convincing arguments for historic preservation drawn from peer-reviewed research or other studies of the economic benefits of historic preservation