Track 4: Diversity, Population Change, and Gentrification in the Preservation Dialogue
The discipline of built heritage conservation has traditionally focused on the development and implementation of appropriate intervention approaches to safeguard cultural properties for future generations. This has been mostly attained by encouraging the revival of traditional construction techniques, the careful implementation of new technologies and the development of best practices to guide professional practices. However, the emphasis on the technological and material aspects of conservation have often failed to evaluate the social impact of well-intended preservation actions, and to underscore the underlying social forces that trigger the need to implement built heritage interventions. This paper section will explore how contemporary dialogues on social issues related to diversity and inclusivity, population change and gentrification are reshaping heritage conservation practices in Miami and throughout the Caribbean. Subjects to be explored include engagement of underrepresented communities to determine preservation goals to guide future interventions on a significant but undervalued historic property on a hurricane-battered Caribbean island; unconventional ways to foment the development of traditional trade skills among non-professional tradesmen; examining the role of historic preservation as a potential disaster-recovery tool that can help to redefine the relationship between dis-empowered communities and a built environment that represents its colonial past and the drawbacks of mass tourism; and recognizing the contribution of underrepresented minorities in the history and development of Modern design solutions to the region’s climate.