National heritage areas in the United States : partnerships, preservation, conservation, and economic development
Straehla, Laura Blake
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Regardless of current historic preservation recognition and regulatory methods, the establishment of nationally designated heritage areas is a major step forward in the understanding, recognition, appreciation, and protection of the United States’ heritage through partnerships. This thesis describes the heritage area movement as a grassroots based, nationally administered effort demonstrative of the new partnership-based paradigm of modern day preservation. Heritage areas are an indication of the melding of the preservation and conservation fields and imitative of some international efforts. They are a natural outgrowth of the National Park Service’s dual role in historic preservation and natural resource conservation. As a recognition methodology and organizational structure, they have served as a catalyst for sustainable economic development. In short, they are part of the future of holistic community planning.