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Change Over Time

UPCOMING ISSUES The Venice Charter at 50 FALL 2014

Vandalism SPRING 2015

Landscape and Climate Change FALL 2015

Ruskin Redux SPRING 2016

National Park Service Centenary FALL 2016

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Change Over Time

AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CONSERVATION AND

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

SPRING 2014

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Change Over Time AN

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GUEST EDITOR: Michele Lamprakos The papers featured in this issue of Change Over Time were selected from the ‘‘Conserving the City’’ symposium organized by Randall Mason and Michele Lamprakos and held at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design on April 28, 2012.

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Foreword: Whence Urban Conservation, Via Lewis Mumford RANDALL MASON

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The Idea of the Historic City MICHELE L AMPRAKOS

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The Paradox of Urban Conservation in France, 1830–1930 KEVIN D. MURPHY

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The Closed Versus the Open Cityscape: Rival Traditions from Nineteenth-Century Europe BRIAN L ADD

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Gustavo Giovannoni: A Theory and a Practice of Urban Conservation GUIDO ZUCCONI

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Changing Ideas of Urban Conservation in Mid-Twentieth-Century England

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PETER J. L ARK HAM

114 Conservation on the Edge: Periurban Settlement Heritage in China DANIEL BENJAMIN ABRAMSON

92 142 Conserving Urban Water Heritage in Multicentered Regions JA ME S L . W ESC OAT J R .

168 Case Study Historic Alexandria: The Next Fifty Years BAIRD SMITH

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FOREWORD: WHENCE URBAN CONSERVATION, VIA LEWIS MUMFORD RANDALL MASON University of Pennsylvania

Lewis Mumford’s pencil sketch of Edinburgh, from September 1925, collects images of the city’s urban structure and architectural aspect. Visualizing cities—making and using images—contributed centrally to Mumford’s masterful narratives about urban evolution. (Lewis Mumford Papers, Kislak Center for Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania)

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The city is both a physical utility for collective living and a symbol of those collective purposes and unanimities that arise under such favoring circumstance. With language itself, it remains man’s [sic] greatest work of art. Lewis Mumford, ‘‘What is a City?’’ (1937)1

Lewis Mumford, the towering urban intellectual of the twentieth century, rarely got things wrong. His magisterial histories and trenchant criticism mapped out the evolution of cities and urban culture as functions of changing technology, the need to forge human relationships with nature, and the art and science of designing settlements and buildings. While deeply informed by history, Mumford’s urban analysis and critique very much engaged his contemporary city—or, more to his point, the regions in which we live and that are centered on cities. In this, Mumford mirrored the pragmatic challenge for the field of urban conservation, the subject of this issue of Change Over Time: cultivating a deep knowledge and appreciation of urban histories, and applying these notions to rework (not just critique) the urban present. Giving the urban past relevance in contemporary design, development, and planning is a project shared by Mumford and urban conservationists alike. Of Mumford’s many time-honored insights, though, the one quoted above has always struck me as misbegotten—the city as humankind’s greatest work of art. The comparison sparks insight and provocation, to be sure. The design of cites indeed requires that we think of them as whole works, not just component pieces in the hands of individual designers. But what’s revealed by the art metaphor—the role of artifice, cities’ beautiful complexities, the rich and enduring human achievement they represent—obscures an important truth germane to urban conservation: the contradiction between conservation theories attached to artworks versus urban theories, in light of the social, cultural, and spatial complexities of urban change and consequent conservation tropes of repair, regeneration, renewal, etc. Mumford meant to assert the cultural values of urbanism, and how that cultural value is deposited vertically (through time), not only horizontally (in explosions of investment, rebuilding, or design), and protecting and cultivating this is the signal contribution of urban conservation. So the city is not an object, but rather a place always in the making.

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As an object of conservation thinking, the city is less a work of art than a place, a home (oikos) and a process, a phenomenon unfolding but never unfolded. Or, in terms of contemporary theory, a cultural landscape, a network, or a system. How these different framings of ‘‘city’’ conflict and combine—this is the conceptual challenge underlying such a radically integrative discourse as urban conservation. All of which is to say that the foundational theory and practice of the conservation field, emanating from art and architectural theory, doesn’t serve as well as a basis for urban conservation. It draws our attention to the critical notion that urban conservation is a distinctly different practice, complex in sufficiently different ways from traditional historic preservation, object conservation, and architectural conservation to occasion some deliberate rethinking.

Channeling Urbanization Urban conservation is the most urgent and least coherent area of contemporary conservation practice. But it is really not a cognate field or even subfield of practice. Debates about urban conservation are often ad hoc, unsupported by cogent theorization, and therefore open to attack. Practices of urban conservation take shape against the backdrop of urbanization processes—more specifically, those of modernity. Urbanization rightly dominates our understanding of human settlements. Whether fast-growing or in senescence, cities’ quality of life is both reflected and enabled by the character and performance of human-made environments. To replay the oft-cited statistics: as of 2010, more than half of the world’s population lived in cities; by 2050 it will be two-thirds.2 Beyond the raw numbers, the character of urbanization gets more troubling: socioeconomic disparities, armed conflict, and technological struggles (the promise of innovating our way out of the environmental messes we have consumed our way into— Mumford would’ve had a field day writing about that!) vex the management and performance of urban settlements. Many are manifestly poor places to live. Others are the most desirable places to live in the world. What qualities and processes separate the two? Economic and political processes create and reinforce uneven development and won’t be evened out anytime soon. The time-depth of new urbanization (a mile wide and an inch deep), its disposability, is a measure of injustice. How can design and conservation improve urban lives? One way to improve the prospects of urban dwellers is stewardship of inherited environments instead of relying on the wholesale invention of new environments. Richly historic and high-performing environments do not have to be the province of the rich. In many cities, the state of urban conservation today is worrisome. Measures for heritage conservation are piecemeal; urban design, economic development, and community-strengthening policies are disconnected from conservation and generally uncoordinated. There are exceptions of course (Charleston, South Carolina; smaller walled towns and historic settlements across Europe, the sort of place Mumford lionized), but they prove the rule. Consider recent debates over rezoning of East Midtown, Manhattan,

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in which dueling advocacy blows pitted economic interests against historic preservationists, caricaturing both. Remarkably, the outcome was favorable to conservation thinking. The same question of balancing growth with protecting character is wrestled over everywhere, including Asia and the Global South. Urban conservation is an ambitious subject. It marries planning, history, and historic preservation, which is per force a multidisciplinary field drawing on physical science, art, craft, humanism, and design. At the scale of whole settlements, urban conservation brings to bear knowledge of history, social sciences, law and public policy, and the ways and means of property development, territorial and city planning, and urban design. Successful urban conservation requires strong generalist (which is to say integrative) talents to alloy the various kinds of expertise. The notion of outsize ambitions and mastery of being a generalist again recalls Mumford’s scholarship on cities. Later in his career, Mumford taught here at Penn (his papers were archived here), and in one of the celebrations of Mumford and his contributions to the field of urbanism and to Penn, Martin Meyerson (renowned scholar of planning, university president) put Mumford and his contributions in context—relevant to our purposes today. Meyerson recalled pleasure at being able to observe and to admire that luminous mind who aimed to dissolve the barriers among the past, the present and the future, between the descriptive and the prescriptive, and between the immediately practical and the visionary. . . . Lewis was proud— properly so—that he was not a one-eyed person, but could see and comprehend many dimensions, the numerous interrelationships of society, politics, culture, the economy, architecture, art, landscape and technology.3 Meyerson went on: Mumford affirmed his ‘‘duty . . . to tear down the fences and the ‘no trespassing’ signs that keep people from taking advantage of wider views and more significant prospects.’’ I think of him as an integrator—a characteristic in many ways to me far more significant than just the generalist that he sometimes liked to call himself. His thinking was synoptic and ecological, he perceived with a context, and he was always aware of intricate patterns of linkage and the ways in which his mind and his insights could help provide that linkage.4 Mumford was the quintessential urban conservator. Meyerson’s encomium to him could not be a more apt model for scholars and practitioners of urban conservation. Histories of urban conservation have been a significant lacuna, falling between the dominant narratives and research concerns in architectural history, in heritage conservation, in urban planning/urbanism. Especially in the United States, where urban conservation, in rare instances when taken on explicitly, comes under the rubric of urban design, or can only be pursued indirectly and/or incompletely, through incentives. As an essential

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condition of modern society, we have the problems and the promises of heritage, and this is manifest in urbanism as well as in architecture and art. This issue of Change Over Time contributes essential elements of critical discourse on urban conservation—beginning with the historic evolution of conservation as part of modern design/planning practice. The papers build a sense of the cross-cultural relevance of urban conservation—solutions must be socially and geographically situated—not onesize-fits-all. The papers in this volume speak to a renewal of the preservation field’s interest in urbanism—and ideally, the seeds of renewing urbanism’s interest in narratives of conservation. As organizers of the symposium that first gathered several of the papers in this volume, Michele Lamprakos and I felt it important to explore the emergence and development of urban conservation theory and practice in a frame that is encompassing historically (touching on a range of periods within the long moment of modernity) as well as geographically. It is commonplace these days to observe that urbanization and conservation are both processes of global dimension—and indeed conservation is called for more urgently as particularity and distinctiveness are threatened by urbanization. In the realm of urban conservation these forces have been intertwined for centuries, making their history a critical dimension of great import. As this collection of papers demonstrates, the issues in urban conservation include public space and representations of public memory (normative, contentious); environmental and design interrelationships between infrastructures and land uses; interrelationships of public and private institutions and actors; and balancing of contemporary needs (of which heritage is one—it is not something ‘‘historic’’ in the sense of distant; some needs are immediate, others long-term). How these balances are struck is the underlying question in all the historical moments carefully presented here. Michele Lamprakos’s opening essay, ‘‘The Idea of the Historic City,’’ explores foundational histories and notions of urban conservation at the level of ideas, practice, and institutions. It identifies intellectual and practical roots of urban conservation and brings them into current debates around ‘‘historic city.’’ Two papers on specific nineteenth-century developments document the initial wrestling with urban conservation in Europe and anchor the critical historiography of urban conservation in the realities and visions of Europeans’ first real struggles to ennoble historic cities while constructing modern ones: Kevin Murphy’s ‘‘The Paradox of Urban Conservation in France, 1830–1930’’ and Brian Ladd’s account (of the broad spectrum of conservation across Europe, but pre-internationalist) in ‘‘The Closed Versus the Open Cityscape: Rival Traditions from Nineteenth-Century Europe.’’ Gustavo Giovannoni’s work is of singular importance as a hinge between nineteenthcentury seeds and the full blossoming of urban conservation practice in the mid-twentieth century. His career, narrated by eminent historian Guido Zucconi, exemplified the challenges of urban conservation and advanced the performance of modern cities (like his native Rome) while retaining their cultural value. Giovannoni demonstrated how integrated practices of architecture, restoration, urban design, and urban conservation have

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been in the past; he is also remembered for advancing the international discussion of conservation through authoring the 1931 Athens Charter. Over the course of the twentieth century, urban conservation was challenged to respond to some very different and deeply troubling historical developments: disruptions of war, looming crises of environmental health and ecological sustainability, and breakneck urbanization in ascendant Asia and the Global South. The balance of papers take up some of these themes: Peter Larkham’s study of England, Daniel Abramson’s innovative work on the edges of urbanization in China (perhaps the most vexing situation for urban conservation in the world), the revelatory stories of weaving water infrastructure into urbanism in India by James Wescoat, and a glimpse of American struggles with urban conservation in Baird Smith’s account of Alexandria, Virginia. As they narrate important urban conservation achievements in various territories, these papers reveal how much additional scholarship is needed to fully plumb the influence and the frustrations of urban conservation as an abiding local and global practice. Taken together the papers lay a base for contemporary urban conservation practice, which has been advancing on a number of interesting, if disconnected, fronts: growing interest in UNECSO’s Historic Urban Landscape initiative as an integrative framework for conservation to be adapted locally; contemporary social-science research on economic development about the role of amenity, place, and other cultural formations in urban competitiveness; institutional innovation, often described as forms of ‘‘publicprivate partnerships’’; and the recent rush to ‘‘placemaking’’ as the template for combining conservationist, design, and community/economic development tools to achieve urban regeneration. These are all promising developments for advancing the broad project of urban conservation. The project is not one of rationalizing and planning in the sense of merely controlling. Urban conservation, past and present, enables the full spectrum of urban functions (growth, prosperity, mobility, creativity, charity) while preserving idiosyncrasy, delight, and particularity—reasons we value urbanism. Mumford remains a provocative guide for exploring urban conservation’s past and future, but like all received wisdom it must be applied critically—no matter how great a work of art.

References 1. Reprinted in Richard T. LeGates and Frederic Stout, eds., The City Reader (New York: Routledge, 1996). 2. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision (New York: United Nations, 2012). 3. Martin Meyerson, ‘‘The GSFA’s Lewis Mumford: The Teacher of Us All,’’ in Recalling Lewis Mumford (Philadelphia: Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, 1990), 7. 4. Ibid.

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES Daniel Benjamin Abramson is Associate Professor of Urban Design and Planning; Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture; and member of the China Studies Faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle. He holds a B.A. degree in history from Harvard University; master’s degrees in architecture and city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and a doctorate in urban planning from Tsinghua University, Beijing. He has undertaken scholarly exchange, teaching, research, publication, and practical planning and design for urban and rural conservation and development across China, and in historic Chinatowns of Vancouver and Seattle, as well as historic mills in New England. Brian Ladd, a research associate in history at the University at Albany, is the author of Urban Planning and Civic Order in Germany, 1860–1914 (1990); The Ghosts of Berlin (1997); and Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age (2008). Michele Lamprakos teaches at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland–College Park, where she holds a joint appointment in the Architecture and Historic Preservation programs. Trained as an architect and an historian, she is interested in the historical layers of buildings and cities, and their ongoing transformation in the present. Her career has combined teaching, research, and practice in architecture and preservation, with a geographical focus on the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Peter J. Larkham is Professor of Planning at Birmingham City University, U.K. He has researched and published widely in urban form, change, and conservation. Most recently he has worked on the period of wartime and postwar reconstruction, trying to explain why today’s cities took the shape we have inherited from this crucial period. He recently co-edited The Blitz and Its Legacy (Ashgate, 2013, with Mark Clapson). Randall Mason is Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. His education includes degrees in geography from Bucknell and Penn State, and a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University; his books include The Once and Future New York, on the origins of historic preservation in New York City (University of Minnesota Press, 2009, winner of

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the SAH’s Antoinette Forester Downing Award), and Giving Preservation a History (with Max Page; Routledge, 2004). Forthcoming works include a book on the economics of historic preservation and several essays on urban history and urban conservation. In 2012– 13, Mason held the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome. Kevin D. Murphy is Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Humanities and Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University. Previously, he taught at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and in the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Memory and Modernity: Viollet-le-Duc at Ve´zelay (2000) as well as other books and articles, many of which focus on the history of the preservation movements in France and the United States. Baird Smith, FAIA, FAPT, Director of Preservation, is a senior project manager and principal for Quinn Evans Architects in Washington, D.C. Smith directs projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic area ranging from small consulting efforts to multi-million-dollar building preservation projects for both the private and public sectors, including a host of nonprofit organizations. His public sector experience includes work with every major federal agency as well as with state, county, and local governments and universities. His work includes projects at more than twenty National Historic Landmarks and six hundred buildings listed on the National Register. Smith was inducted into the College of Fellows of both the Association of Preservation Technology (APT) and the American Institute of Architects. James L. Wescoat Jr. is Aga Khan Professor in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he offers courses on water resources, landscape history and theory, heritage conservation, and disaster-resilient design. His research concentrates on water systems in South Asia and the United States from the site to river basin scales. For much of his career, Wescoat has focused on the small-scale historical waterworks of Mughal gardens and cities in India and Pakistan. At the larger scale, Wescoat has conducted water policy research in the Colorado, Indus, Ganges, Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins. He has a long-standing interest in cultural exchange between South Asia and North America. Guido Zucconi teaches at the University IUAV of Venice. He has also taught at the Politecnico di Milano and the University of Udine, and has been visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, Fudan University in Shanghai, and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. His main field of interest is Italian architecture, urban history, and conservation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His books include La citta` contesa 1885–1942 (1989) and L’invenzione del passato, focused on Camillo Boito and neo-medieval architecture in Italy (1997); he has edited collections on the work of Camillo Sitte (1992), Gustavo Giovannoni (1997), and Daniele Donghi (2006).

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CALL FOR PAPERS Landscape and Climate Change Fall 2015 Guest Editor: Robert Melnick Whether climate change is human-induced or part of the natural cycle of events, there is no doubt that it is impacting our planet and our heritage resources. Modern climate change science began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and was accelerated in the third quarter of the twentieth century. In more recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the real and potential impacts of climate change, especially on natural systems, such as temperature, sea levels, storm occurrence and intensity, temperature ranges, and vegetative patterns. More recently, research has turned to the impact of climate change on significant cultural resources, including historic structures and archeological sites. This work, however, has only now begun to address the impact of climate change on cultural landscapes. There is a growing need for a broader understanding in a number of areas, including: the differences between global change and local or regional impacts; potential policy implications; and models for adaptation and intervention. Among the factors that need to be considered, within a range of climate change impacts on cultural landscapes, are: temperature fluctuation, water cycle modification, vegetation management, invasive species, and change in fire occurrence, as well as the potential for increased land development pressures. Basic to this discussion, but not always articulated, are the fundamental issues of integrity and character-defining features in a resource type that is inherently dynamic. This issue will explore many facets of the impacts of climate change on significant cultural landscapes. We look for a range of topics that include case studies, theoretical and philosophical examinations of this topic, the position of cultural landscapes in the larger historic preservation discourse on climate change, and applicable lessons from other disciplines. The goal is to provide a basis from which our responses to known and unknown impacts of climate on cultural landscapes can be advanced.

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Ruskin Redux Spring 2016 Guest Editor: John Dixon Hunt The spring 2016 issue of Change Over Time is planned on the preservation ideas and practice of John Ruskin. This is a call for two responses: (1) articles and topics; and (2) for an anthology of Ruskin’s relevant writings which COT will offer. This last is intended as a collection of Ruskin’s remarks on preservation, excluding the most obvious piece on ‘‘The Lamp of Memory’’: letters, diaries, other writings, whether in fragments or larger passages (please give us references). The editor will gather these and organize them, with proper acknowledgment of suggestions made, in an effort to collect and present a compendium of Ruskin’s remarks on this topic as an eminently usable tool for reference. This would complement not only the Cook and Wedderburn edition of Ruskin’s writing, but of the considerable publication of materials since his death. Submittal inquiries may be sent to John Dixon Hunt (jdhunt@design.upenn.edu), guest editor. Articles are generally restricted to 7,500 or fewer words (the approximate equivalent to thirty pages of double-spaced, twelve-point type) and may include up to ten images. The deadline for submission of manuscripts for the fall 2015 Landscape and Climate Change issue is September 1, 2014, and manuscripts must be submitted by February 2, 2015 for Ruskin Redux. Guidelines for authors may be requested from Meredith Keller (cot@design.upenn.edu), to whom manuscripts should also be submitted. For further information please visit cot.pennpress.org.

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UPCOMING ISSUES The Venice Charter at Fifty Fall 2014 Vandalism Spring 2015 Landscape and Climate Change Fall 2015 Ruskin Redux Spring 2016 National Park Service Centenary Fall 2016

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Change Over Time

UPCOMING ISSUES The Venice Charter at 50 FALL 2014

Vandalism SPRING 2015

Landscape and Climate Change FALL 2015

Ruskin Redux SPRING 2016

National Park Service Centenary FALL 2016

4.1

Change Over Time

AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CONSERVATION AND

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

SPRING 2014

SPRING 2014


4 1 conserving the city