The 9th Preservation Policy Forum: A Critical Examination of New Design in Historic Contexts

March 2023 – Charleston, South Carolina

Sponsored by The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation of Clemson University and College of Charleston, The Joseph P. Riley Center for Livable Communities at College of Charleston and National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, National Park Service

Call for Papers

The United States’ public policies that frame how new design is considered compatible within historic context are now over 50 years old. These policies, including the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards at the national level, and standards, codes, and guidelines adopted down through municipal levels, were often created in an era before objectives like universal design and accessibility, equity, resilience, minimal carbon footprints, maintenance of biodiversity, among others, were commonly central in design considerations and other policies that are part of preserving and adapting historic resources and places.

Each of these considerations impose demands on new design in historic contexts, from form and materials to density and diversity. These, sometimes competing, project goals and policies also impose new challenges to those who interpret appropriate new design in historic contexts. Interpretation often occurs formally inside historic districts with local commission members and on projects subject to federal preservation review. The 9th Preservation Policy Forum will focus on how the current policies and their interpretations by members of local commissions and professional preservation staff at the local, state, or federal levels, should be revised or replaced by new policies.

Proposed papers should state the challenge to the existing policies regulations, or administrative procedures and offer significant changes or an entirely new policy or process to better address the challenges of the future. The historic context could include buildings, structures, landscape, streetscapes, or narratives. The new design requirements and objectives may relate to climate and environmental changes, new seismic regulations, new materials, the circular economy, reducing environmental impacts, social equity, or other changing knowledge, attitudes, and values. Proposed papers may not simply be case studies.

The Forum is designed to stimulate discussion and debate among presenters and the audience. Therefore, only 15 papers will be accepted to provide ample time for audience and presenter discussion. Attendance at the Forum will be limited to a maximum of 100 participants.

Abstracts, no longer than 500 words, double-spaced, 12 pt. type, should be submitted electronically as .pdf documents no later than July 15, 2022, to Amalia Leifeste at Submissions must identify the author’s name, professional title and affiliation, postal and e-mail addresses, and telephone number at the top of the page. Successful proposals will be selected based upon how effectively they address the Forum’s focus, as well as the submission’s critical thinking, creativity, thoughtfulness, organization, and ability to engender discussion. The decision of the Papers Review Committee will be announced to all submitters no later than August 30, 2022.

Authors selected will be required to submit a 3,500-word draft, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography of the complete paper, no later than October 15, 2022. The drafts will be reviewed by the Papers Review Committee and may be returned to the authors for additional work no later than November 1, 2022. An electronic copy of the final paper, without illustrations, will be due no later than February 25, 2023. Electronic copies of final papers will be made available to attendees prior to the conference. It is the intention that a White Paper will be developed from the presentations within 60 days of the Forum and distributed to organizations, public agencies, and individuals in positions to effect recommended changes.

Questions about the Call may be submitted electronically to Amalia Leifeste [].

The 9th Preservation Policy Forum is supported by

American Cultural Resources Association
Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture, University of Illinois
Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture & Environment, University of Oregon Master of Heritage Conservation Program, University of Southern California National Alliance of Preservation Commissions
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
National Preservation Institute
Preservation Action Foundation