Issues in Preservation Policy: Preservation and Social Inclusion

How can preservation policy become more inclusive?

Historic preservation plays an important role in shaping the built environment of our city. The designation of buildings and districts as landmarks imposes strict standards of architectural review and enshrines places as part of New York’s collective heritage and identity. However, preservationists must reckon that our city’s portfolio of landmarks does not reflect the culture and history of all New Yorkers.

Issues in Preservation Policy: Preservation and Social Inclusion (Columbia University Press, 2020) is an anthology that explores the need for greater community engagement and participation when considering what is “worthy” of landmark-designation. Emma Osore’s contribution to this volume, entitled Blackspace: Brownsville Codesigning Black Neighborhood Heritage Conservation, outlines a collaborative and equitable approach to recording and preserving heritage in a Black neighborhood with a storied history.

Issues in Preservation Policy editor Erica Avrami and contributor and scholar Emma Osore will join OHNY in-person at Brownsville Library for a vital conversation about their work and the potential for change in preservation policy.

Purchase Issues in Preservation Policy: Preservation and Social Inclusion here.

AIA CES credit (1 LU | HSW) is pending for this program.


Erica Avrami is the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Avrami’s work interrogates the intentions, processes, and outcomes of preservation in relation to social justice and the climate crisis, and seeks to transition heritage tools and preservation policies toward equity, resilience, and decarbonization. Avrami joined GSAPP as full-time faculty in 2014, having formerly served as the Director of Research and Education for World Monuments Fund and a Project Specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute.

Emma Osore is a participatory designer with an interest in community building to create more just public systems. She is a founding member and Co-Managing Director of BlackSpace Urbanist Collective, where she leads creative strategy and operations for its national platform for civic designers and public projects that center the black experience. Previously, she was the Director of Community at the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s creative business incubator, NEW INC.

This event is free of charge, but space is limited. RSVP to secure your spot!

Brownsville Heritage House
at Brooklyn Public Library - Stone Avenue Branch
581 Mother Gaston Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11212
Subway: 3 to Rockaway Ave or Junius St; L to Livonia Ave