James Lindberg to give keynote at annual CHP conference

James Lindberg, vice president at the National Trust for Historic Preservation who leads the trust’s Preservation Green Lab and the ReUrbanism initiative for cities, will present the keynote lecture on adaptive reuse during Salve Regina’s annual Conference on Cultural and Historic Preservation, which is being held Oct. 12-13 in Ochre Court.

Lindberg will discuss innovations in the reuse of old and existing buildings that create more vibrant, equitable and resilient communities when he presents the Richard A. Grills Keynote Address in Historic Preservation at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.

In presenting his topic, “Reset to Default: Making Building Reuse the New Normal,” Lindberg will discuss how civic leaders and advocates across the country are seeking to create more inclusive, healthy and sustainable communities of the future. Research from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Research and Policy Lab points to the potential of a “reuse dividend” that can help communities achieve these goals, by taking preservation policies and practice to greater scale and impact.

Hosted by the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation program, the theme of the two-day conference is “Community Preservation through Adaptive Reuse.” For more information and a conference agenda, visit the conference website.

Lindberg has more than 25 years of experience in historic preservation, planning and sustainable development. He has led a range of nationally recognized preservation and sustainable development projects for the National Trust, including the adaptive use of a former dude ranch in Rocky Mountain National Park and the green rehabilitation of a historic school in Denver. He is the author of numerous reports, articles and books on architecture, planning and preservation, and is a lecturer in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver.

Adaptive reuse is a strategy commonly employed by preservationists, architects and planners to extend the use-life of historic buildings and sites. Perhaps because it is not as readily measurable as financial benefits, the ability of adaptive reuse to strengthen community relationships and identities is often overlooked. Despite this lack of attention, adaptive reuse has the potential to be a powerful form of place-making that promotes community solidarity.

Taking this perspective, historic buildings and sites are seen as more than fabric. They are also seen as richly layered “texts” that combine material and non-material cultural narratives of a community’s past, present and even future. In many cases, the range of narratives associated with a particular building or site is as diverse as the community itself, which has the potential to create a shared sense of history.

Lindberg’s keynote address is made possible through a generous grant from the Southeastern New England Educational and Charitable Foundation.

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