Public heritage practice in American cities has largely focused on the physical landscape of the European-based majority culture. As the nation’s urban areas continue to become more culturally diverse, preservationists have begun to explore new approaches to serve the needs of minority populations through community development planning. Examples include programs in San Francisco that focus less on physical fabric and more on the intangible cultural aspects associated with marginalized groups, and the work of Project Row Houses in Houston, which uses the historic building fabric of an African-American minority community as a canvas for expressing the group’s experience within the majority society. While US public heritage practice still lags behind in its representation of America’s diversity, the ability of preservationists to combine more subjective tools like intangible culture and artistic place-making with community development planning can help prevent the displacement of minority cultures from their traditional locations due to development pressure.
Keywords: public heritage; planning; historic preservation; diversity; minority populations; intangible culture; LGBTQ; African-American
Article. 5827 words.
Subjects: Contemporary and Public Archaeology
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