Issues in Preservation Policy: Preservation and Social Inclusion (Copy)

Heritage occupies a privileged position within the built environment. Most municipalities in the United States, and nearly all countries around the world, have laws and policies to preserve heritage in situ, seeking to protect places from physical loss and the forces of change. That privilege, however, is increasingly being unsettled by the legacies of racial, economic, and social injustice in both the built environment and historic preservation policy, and by the compounding climate crisis. Though many heritage projects and practitioners are confronting injustice and climate in innovative ways, systemic change requires looking beyond the formal and material dimensions of place and to the processes and outcomes of preservation policy—operationalized through laws and guidelines, regulatory processes, and institutions—across time and socio-geographic scales, and in relation to the publics they are intended to serve.

This third volume in the Issues in Preservation Policy series examines historic preservation as an enterprise of ideas, methods, institutions, and practices that must reorient toward a new horizon, one in which equity and sustainability become critical guideposts for policy evolution.

With contributions from Lisa T. Alexander, Louise Bedsworth, Ken Bernstein, Robin Bronen, Sara C. Bronin, Shreya Ghoshal, Scott Goodwin, Claudia Guerra, Victoria Herrmann, James B. Lindberg, Randall Mason, Jennifer Minner, David Moore, Marcy Rockman, Stephanie Ryberg-Webster, A.R. Siders, Amanda L. Webb, and Vicki Weiner.

Available online and in print.

Issues in Preservation Policy: Preservation and Social Inclusion

The preservation enterprise helps fashion the physical contours of memory in public space, and thus has the power to curate a multidimensional and inclusive representation of societal values and narratives. Increasingly, the field of preservation is being challenged to consider questions of social inclusion, of how multiple publics are—or are not—represented in heritage decision-making, geographies, and governance structures. Community engagement is increasingly being integrated into project-based preservation practice, but the policy toolbox has been slower to evolve. Recognizing how preservation and other land use decisions can both empower and marginalize publics compels greater reflection on preservation’s past and future and collective action beyond the project level. This requires professionals and institutions to consider systemic policy change with integrity, sensitivity, and intentionality.

Bringing together a broad range of academics, historians, and practitioners, this second volume in the Issues in Preservation Policy series documents historic preservation’s progress toward inclusivity and explores further steps to be taken.

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Issues in Preservation Policy: Preservation and the New Data Landscape

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Over the past fifty years, preservation policy has evolved very little, despite escalating accusations that landmarking and historic districting can inhibit affordable housing, economic development, and socioeconomic diversity. The potential to understand these dynamics and effect positive change is hindered by a lack of data resources and evidence-based research to better understand these impacts. One of the biggest barriers to preservation research has been the lack of data sets that can be used for geospatial, evidence-based, and longitudinal analyses.

This first book in the series Issues in Preservation Policy explores the ways that enhancing the collection, accuracy, and management of data can serve a critical role in identifying vulnerable neighborhoods, understanding the role of older buildings in economic vitality and community resilience, planning sustainable growth, and more. For preservation to play a dynamic role in sustainable development and social inclusion, policy must evolve beyond designation and design regulation and use evidence-based research to confront new realities in the management of urban environments and their communities.

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Shadow Libraries

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2018. Joe Karaganis (ed.)

We’re happy to announce the publication of Shadow Libraries: Access to Knowledge in Global Higher Education (2018).  It is, in many respects, a sequel to Media Piracy in Emerging Economies (2011) and involves many of the same researchers. It’s also available for free under a CC license.  

From the intro:

From the top down, Shadow Libraries explores the institutions that shape the provision of [learning] materials, from the formal sector of universities and publishers to the broadly informal ones organized by faculty, copy shops, student unions, and students themselves. It looks at the history of policy battles over access to education in the post–World War II era and at the narrower versions that have played out in relation to research and textbooks, from library policies to book subsidies to, more recently, the several “open” publication models that have emerged in the higher education sector.

From the bottom up, Shadow Libraries explores how, simply, students get the materials they need. It maps the ubiquitous practice of photocopying and what are—in many cases—the more marginal ones of buying books, visiting libraries, and downloading from unauthorized sources. It looks at the informal networks that emerge in many contexts to share materials, from face-to-face student networks to Facebook groups, and at the processes that lead to the consolidation of some of those efforts into more organized archives that circulate offline and sometimes online—the shadow libraries of our title…..

Universities play complicated roles in these conflicts, shaped by the fact that few make adequate provision of materials to their students. Regardless of copyright law, administrative preferences, or official positions, this reality usually dictates policies of toleration or accommodation of student practices—in some cases turning a blind eye to the copying ecosystem and in other cases moving to formally or semiformally incorporate it. This tolerance also reflects the proliferation of copying and communication technologies throughout the student and faculty population, which makes the copyright management function traditionally centralized in libraries largely obsolete…..

At one level, these skirmishes testify to the conservatism of universities. Few have followed the Brazilian example of cutting through the knot of narrow or obsolete copyright exceptions. Few have accepted publisher proposals to adopt more extensive surveillance and control of students and faculty—and, to the best of our knowledge, none to any significant effect. Few have moved decisively toward open models for the range of academic and teaching publications in use—though some schools, systems, and national research funders have begun to do so for research articles. In practice, the informal copying ecosystem operates as a safety valve for these conversations, denying publishers the more complete markets they want but also forestalling a sharper crisis of access that might lead to a break with existing publishing and policy paradigms. The copying ecosystem compensates, imperfectly but also cheaply, for the weaknesses of the commercial and library models of provision. Where this ecosystem is not internalized by the university, it is externalized by the students.

Download the book for free from MIT Press

On the Edge: America’s Middle Neighborhoods

2016. Paul C. Brophy (ed.)

On the Edge: America’s Middle Neighborhoods, edited by Paul C. Brophy, aims to stimulate a national dialogue about middle neighborhoods. Presented through case studies and essays by leading policymakers, community development professionals, and scholars, this volume explores the complex web of neighborhoods transitioning—for better or worse—across the US.

“One way to think about middle neighborhoods is they are on the edge between growth and decline. These are neighborhoods where housing is often affordable and where quality of life—measured by employment rates, crime rates, and public school performance—is sufficiently good that new home buyers are willing to play the odds and choose these neighborhoods over others in hopes they will improve rather than decline.”

-Paul C. Brophy

The declining middle class and growing income segregation and inequality are the backdrop for this publication. The authors of On the Edge provide fresh ideas for action, advocating for new and innovative community, housing, and education policies to support middle neighborhoods and create opportunities for the millions of people who live in them.

Learn more at

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On the Edge: America’s Middle Neighborhoods (Download PDF)

Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies

2014. Maureen Conway (ed.), Robert P. Giloth (ed.)

The American Assembly

Workforce development—helping Americans in the US build the skills they need to get jobs in a rapidly changing economy—has increasingly adopted sector-based strategies, which prioritize training in the specific skillsets that employers need.  In this volume, Maureen Conway and Robert P. Giloth bring together a wide range of perspectives on the evolution of sector-based workforce development in industries ranging from health to construction. The book offers lessons for policymakers, philanthropic investors, researchers and local leaders interested in policies and practices that help connect struggling workers to good jobs. 

Connecting People to Work (2014) features case studies of workforce development strategies in the health care, construction, manufacturing, and restaurant industries; and highlights how policy and economic changes and new practices among education and training institutions are affecting workforce development efforts. It also includes a review of major sector-financing strategies.

The book revisits issues explored in Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-first Century (2003).

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