Track 6: INTEGRATING OLD AND NEW – BUILDINGS, DISTRICTS, and LANDSCAPES / Volet 6: Intégrer l’ancien et le nouveau – Immeubles, quartiers et paysages

“R(e)valuating heritage significance: updated tools and procedures for managing cultural landscape change”

Friday, October 13
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Governments and heritage advocates increasingly embrace values-centered conservation and endorse sustainable development principles, yet the values and criteria they use to determine a place’s importance belong to an older curatorial paradigm. If they are to adopt progressive policies and innovative strategies aimed at managing cultural landscape change, how can they and other practitioners and professionals working in the private and public sectors revamp conventional historic preservation practices to consider the multiple ways places can be valued and developed?
This paper presents an ideal heritage evaluation methodology, one that updates procedures currently used in Quebec and Canada to consider a wider range of sociocultural values and to integrate the measurement of economic values. Grounded in recent, international literature and a review of best practices in the province and the country, the tools and processes are designed to encourage public participation in caring for the ordinary and extraordinary places they deem significant, in identifying why it is important to do so and the manner in which it can be done.
The methodology is conceived to be flexible and adaptable to a number of purposes and situations, from deciding whether a place merits protection to guiding architects and their clients in historic preservation projects. And why not use it to support key stakeholders and communities of interests in envisioning adaptive reuse projects for sites they consider special? Although the state’s role is to select the best examples in their jurisdiction and, at the provincial and municipal levels, to protect sites recognised for their uniqueness or representability, the parties who nominated a place for heritage designation might nonetheless, in the case of refusal, want to find other ways to treat the site in all its aspects while remaining sensitive to its multi-layered significance. For that, they, too, need to be able to weigh the relative values from diverse perspectives according to relevant criteria, as does anyone wanting to act upon existing cultural landscapes sensitively. Ultimately, if widely diffused and put into practice even in modified form, the tools and procedures proposed here can potentially contribute to fostering a culture of conservation.

Learning Objectives:

Tania Martin

Université Laval

Full professor at Université Laval School of Architecture, Tania Martin holds a Ph. D. in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She teaches an adaptive reuse design studio, historic preservation, and runs a field school in the Gaspe, which was awarded the Vernacular Architecture Forum’s prestigious Buchanan Award in 2016. She is completing a substantial report for the Quebec Ministry of Culture on heritage evaluation methodology. Martin co-authored with Carla Blank Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel. It examines the careers of two pioneer women architects of 19th-century North America, their signature buildings and the preservation of these historic monuments.


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Tamara Anson-Cartwright

Tamara Anson-Cartwright is a Program Manager at the City of Toronto Planning Division (Heritage Preservation Services in Urban Design). Tamara manages a dynamic research and policy team focused on developing Heritage Conservation Districts and delivering the City’s heritage incentive programs and heritage evaluation of properties and cultural heritage landscapes for inclusion on the City's Heritage Register. She is currently leading a feasibility study for establishing a citywide heritage survey. Prior to joining City Planning in 2015, Tamara was a Heritage Advisor in the Ontario Government for more than 25 years developing policies, programs and services for the conservation of heritage properties throughout the province including the "Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties" and publications on conserving historic cemeteries and places of worship.


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“R(e)valuating heritage significance: updated tools and procedures for managing cultural landscape change”

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