This research examines the ways in which the Principles of Future-Proofing could be incorporated into current historic preservation and heritage conservation practice. By analyzing the systems of conservation within the United States and internationally (via the World Heritage Council), the potential forms of integration become clearer.
Internationally, dozens of Charters, Standards, and Declarations have been adopted to guide conservation of heritage assets. These charters, etc., are developed to focus on specific topics or regions around the world and all may be applied to a particular asset. In this system, the adoption of the Principles of Future-Proofing as a new Standard is proposed.
Within the US system, the Secretary’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties is found to be stagnant and inflexible. Thousands of jurisdictions across the United States adopted the Standards for Rehabilitation directly into legislation or their Rules and Regulations. The Standards for Restoration, Reconstruction, and Preservation are rarely adopted, let alone newer standards for cultural landscapes, urban areas, etc. Thus, there is no legal basis for consideration of these other Standards. The political implications of changing the system to include them is staggering. Here, the Principles of Future-Proofing are proposed as a simple paragraph that might be incorporated into the Rules and Regulations of each preservation commission.