The Heritage Area

Paul M. Bray. “The National Heritage Areas Phenomenon–Where it is Coming From.”

I. National Heritage Area – defined:

A region where natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity, shaped by geography. (1994)

B. Other names

1. Urban cultural Parks and corridors
2. Partnership Parks

II. Feel good about heritage, combines preservation, recreation, education, and economic development

A. Represent a “sea change” for parks and historic preservation.

1. Heritage areas encompass a “living landscape”

B. Positive consequence is the opportunity to enlarge the dimension of specialized skills by linking up disciplines. Heritage areas are orphan without one specialized profession able to claim as its very own.

1. Move from a “feature” to the entire setting. Park is not to be an isolated activity supported by a pastoral myth.

III. In historic preservation speak- Heritage area preservation

A. Preserve entire ecosystems of cultural and natural resources. Idea combines urbanism with cultural and natural resource preservation

B. What do areas have in common?

1. Creative nexus based on partnership agreements between private individuals and organizations, and local and state governments to manage and come to terms with modern urban landscapes.

2. Heritage Planning is holistic, resource based. Vision more than reality but a way to carry forward principles.

a. Response to sprawl.

b. Response to despair of the discarded industrial landscape.

c. The heritage area movement is a special and interesting place movement.

IV. Home Rule vs regionalism

A. Bottom up desire for greater voice and recognition of regional character.

Sarah Pekin speaking to international conference in Ferrara Italy.

V. Characteristics of U. S. National Parks.

A. Sacredness of private property. (but is it?)

B. Lands for parks set aside for natural beauty (she says) despite their economic potential.

C. Park system was designed to be dynamic (Pekin says in relation to growth)

VI. Heritage Area Parks. Cape Cod first heritage area park.

A. They originate from grass roots political activism which continues into management.

B. Include historic buildings, cultural landscapes, there is considerable involvement by the private sector and non-profit organizations.

C. Heritage areas are fun.

D. Important landscapes are kept in private ownership—land trusts, etc.

E. Regional economic development is a goal and localities work on a larger regional scale.

F. National Park service is involved for a finite period of time.

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