Designation : the use of information-based strategies in planning and preservation
Author(s)McCarthy, Danielle M
Use of information-based strategies in planning and preservation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
J. Mark Schuster.
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This thesis explores one tool of government action - information - and its influence on local policy and planning. This thesis is not a comprehensive account of information-based strategies, which would require far-reaching analysis. Instead, this thesis explores designation as one example of an information-based strategy that is used in planning and development. Specifically, this thesis explores how the act of designating an area as a national historic site ("designation") can, if at all, influence local policy and planning and, subsequently, shapes our built environment. Using the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor as a case study, I demonstrate that information strategies such as designation can provide a vital and dynamic planning tool for government. Designation presents a new approach to preservation and development by encouraging dynamic, cross-boundary partnerships that are simultaneously committed to common goals and dynamic enough to respond to the complexities of place. Designation allows local communities to maintain a place-specific approach to planning, while operating within a larger regional network. In the case of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, designation united twenty-four communities across a bi-state region between Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Designation in this region cultivated a coherent and dynamic vision that, when coupled with the organizational structure, can be seen in the physical environment of the Valley. At one scale, this is shown by the reintegration of underused or abandoned structures and the conversion of older structures for new uses.(cont.) At another scale, communities embraced the river as a source for recreation and now promote recreational uses along its shores. At the regional level, communities work to create new regional recreational and interpretive networks. Designation, when used by the Federal government as a tool has the ability to strengthen local governmental bodies as well as society to respond to changes in the economy, culture and environment. Designation as a tool links economic development and cultural programming with preservation efforts within communities and across traditional planning boundaries. Yet, because of a heavy reliance on partnerships, the success of designation as a tool for preservation and development is strongly associated with several key factors relating to the physical, economic and social qualities of place. These include the economic stability of the community, the availability of physical resources for heritage redevelopment, the engagement of the local government, the level of support of the local private sector (both the general public and private sector institutions), and the support and organization of the state.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (p. 69-74).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning., Architecture.