A day-long opening symposium will be held in partnership with Vizcaya and will focus on the reciprocal intersections between historic preservation and climate change. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report establishes that while 1.5°C of global warming will be damaging to infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems – including cultural heritage – the impacts of 2°C warming will be significantly worse. Limiting warming to 1.5°C will therefore require “rapid and far-reaching transitions in the way we use land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities”, according to the IPCC. Cultural heritage offers immense and virtually untapped potential to drive climate action and support a just transition by communities towards low carbon, climate resilient development pathways. How do we capitalize on our expertise in preservation technology to effectively motivate climate action across the world and at multiple scales?
Stronger connections are needed between heritage values and climate action planning if we are to make a critical difference in our climate trajectory. The theory and practice of historic preservation can inform and strengthen these connections. Using the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement as a framework, the symposium will identify and highlight the necessary and expanding role of historic preservation in developing climate solutions around climate adaptation, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and planning for loss and damage; stimulating awareness of climate policies and actions; and supporting critical research.
Global cities such as Miami, with their population density and infrastructural development and their layers of historical significance, have an important role to play in connecting the human dimensions of climate change and preservation technology. More broadly, common geographies and ecosystems (such as tropical regions and coastal, marine, and riverine locations) create common risk profiles, creating opportunities for heritage managers to reach across political boundaries and professional disciplines to seek mutual support from similarly situated colleagues. Policy and practice examples from south Florida, the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean Islands, Latin America, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and southern Asia will be featured.