From Engagement to Empowerment: How Preservation Professionals Can Incorporate Participatory Methods in Disaster Recovery to Better Serve Socially Vulnerable Groups
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Recently, the Historic Preservation Field celebrated the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. At this time, leading preservation entities such as the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) reflected upon the future of the Historic Preservation field. Two themes, people-centered preservation and integrating preservation into disaster mitigation planning and recovery, emerged. While both themes are essential for advancing the Historic Preservation field toward a dynamic future, they have differing priorities. This mismatch in priorities can prove detrimental to the effectiveness of the Historic Preservation field going forward, particularly as it pertains to vulnerable populations following a disaster. Therefore, the purpose of this policy analysis is to describe how the current Section 106 process, used by professional historic preservationists in post-disaster contexts, does not accommodate opportunities for historic preservation professionals to build the capacity of vulnerable populations to better leverage the Section 106 process. In addition, the purpose of this policy analysis is to discover how historic preservation professionals can expand their roles from regulators to facilitators in the Section 106 process by adopting participatory methods.