The Future of Historic Preservation in Blighted Areas: Effects of the Abolishment of Redevelopment Agencies in California
Historic Preservation and Conservation
Redevelopment agencies play a major role in the preservation or destruction of historic buildings. When considering the benefits of preservation, we not only consider the protection of buildings for history's sake; but its usage has become more evident as a form of economic growth. During 2011, in efforts to balance the budget in the state of California, Governor Brown proposed abolishing redevelopment agencies, using their $1.7 billion tax revenue in the next fiscal year to balance the budget. Collectively, these cities take in about $5 billion a year in property taxes. In researching some of their city-run redevelopment agencies, many not only boast about their economic accolades within their community, but also their preservation efforts and how its cultural significance enriches the city and its residents.& Though the preservation community has made great strides since the 1960s, the evolution and accolades of redevelopment agencies should not go unnoticed. Ever evolving and keen to emerging planning practices, redevelopment agencies have become a major advocate for the sustainability of historic city centers and buildings alike. Since its inception, redevelopment agencies, such as the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, have acknowledged the importance of the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings both for the aesthetic and economic benefits. As we've learned from the past, in times of economic hardship, those unaware and uninformed are quick to allocate money away from preservation without really knowing its true attributes to a municipality. As redevelopment agencies begin to plan their exits, there is little care or focus into the well-being of proposed preservation work. Furthermore, what is to happen to those historic sites currently owned by the city?