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Why Old Places Matter

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

May 26, 2015 8:49:23 AM

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, Smart Growth Online is conducting a Webinar from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

The Webinar examines the fundamental and pragmatic reasons that old places are good for people. Three international historic preservation experts discuss 


  • how old places give people a sense of continuity and identity,
  • how they fill lives with beauty, creativity and lifelong learning,
  • fhow they oster community,
  • and in turn, how these seemingly intangible elements make a powerful contribution to smart growth’s goals of community revitalization, sustainability and economic development.

Webinar speakers:


Thompson M. Mayes (leeft) is Deputy General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation,and has specialized in both corporate and preservation law since joining the National Trust in 1986.  He is the author of many articles and has lectured widely on preservation easements,, historic house museums, the Americans with Disabilities Act, preservation public policy and the importance of old places. For many years, he taught historic preservation law at the University of Maryland Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. A recipient of the Rome Prize in Historic Preservation, Mr. Mayes authored a recent series of essays titled Why Old Places Matter.  Mr. Mayes received his B.A. with honors in History in 1981 and his J.D. in 1985 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University.


Donovan Rypkema (right) is principal of PlaceEconomics and president of Heritage Strategies International. Rypkema works at the nexus of historic preservation and economic development. He has worked in 49 States and 45 countries. He is a director of Global Urban Development, a member of the Senior Advisory Board of the Global Heritage Fund and author of The Economics of Historic Preservation. He holds a Masters degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. He teaches preservation economics at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012 Rypkema received the Crowninshield Award from the National Trust.


Mike Powe (lower left) is Senior Research Manager, Preservation Green Lab National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dr. Powe leads research assessing the contributions that existing buildings and commercial districts offer communities. With his colleagues, Powe recently completed work on the Green Lab’s “Older, Smaller, Better” project, that used maps and statistics to demonstrate the critical role that older, smaller buildings play in supporting the social, cultural and economic vitality of urban neighborhoods. At the Green Lab, Powe is part of a team that aims to unlock the inherent strengths of old buildings to save natural resources and strengthen local economies. Powe holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree (2006) and a doctorate in Planning, Policy, and Design (2010), both from the University of California, Irvine. He has worked as a researcher and community development professional in Texas, California, Florida, and Washington.

To learn more and register for the Webinar.

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