Category Description & Vulnerability Overview
Reviewing the vulnerability of cultural resources can be much like the Plan of Conservation and Development process. It likely requires community-wide outreach, review of local plans and documents, and input from a variety of stakeholders. The existing POCD may be a useful place to start to identify key character areas, demographic groups, and historical sites. While you’re reviewing your community’s cultural resources, consider the following:
- Many historical buildings are located in flood zones.
- Historical buildings may not be insulated or sealed. May not have contemporary air handling systems.
- Many vulnerable groups including low-income, elderly, Native American, and non-English speaking groups.
- Traditional gathering locations like fairgrounds and town greens do not have shelter from natural disasters or high heat.
- Trees along roads at town entrances may be second growth generation and nearing end of life or at risk from trimming.
- Lack of farm transitions may reduce traditional farming knowledge.
- Local traditions and events may need heat/cooling and intense storm plans.
“Historic resources are part of a community’s shared identity and function as places of memory and meaning for local residents (Hayden, 1995; Jenks, 2008). The physical fabric of a community can be seen as both reﬂecting and reinforcing cultural norms and social relations (Schein, 1997). If that fabric is destroyed, members of a disaster-affected community may be forced to ask fundamental and destabilizing questions about the nature of their relation-ship with each other and with the space in which their lives have been lived (e.g., Gans, 1962, pp. 281–335; Otte, 2007). Protecting historic resources can preserve a community’s shared identity and reinforce connections between neighbors and the larger community (FEMA, 2005; Jones, 1986)”
[Source: Appler and Rumbach. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 82, No. 2, Spring 2016. DOI 10.1080/01944363.2015.1123640]
Cultural Resources is the most varied of the categories and includes less tangible concepts that contribute to the overall character of a place. The 2006 NPS Management Policies define cultural resources as “archaeological resources, cultural landscapes, ethnographic resources, historic and prehistoric structures, and museum collections.”
In addition to these historical objects, cultural resources also includes important socio-cultural components such as different ethnic groups, traditional land use activities, and the human-landscape interaction through recreation. Rural character is a strong portion of cultural resources since it is a defining vision for most of the region’s municipalities. Communities must take care to develop strategies that protect their local character and cultural resources since they are usually important motivations for residents and visitors alike.
A community’s cultural fabric should consider:
- The region’s residents, especially vulnerable populations such as elders, indigenous people, disable/handicapped, children, refugees and migrants, and low income groups;
- Significant landscape and scenic areas;
- Historical properties (districts, sites, views, etc. On local, state, national, and international lists);
- Traditional events such as an annual harvest festival, Ice Watch, summer concert series, or holiday celebrations;
- Traditional land use such as hunting, agriculture, or religious uses;
- Recreation and tourism;
- Village/Town Center
- Rural Character components
“Integrating historic resource resiliency into state and local government plans is critical, to ensure that preservation values are represented in plans for hazard mitigation, conservation and development, and climate preparedness. Planners should consider historic resources in each of the four key steps—prepare, withstand, recover, and adapt—that inform hazard mitigation plans.” [Source: Shared Stewardship: Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan]
Potential Partners & Funding Streams
Please send any suggested partners, grants, or resources to info [at] joannaw1.sg-host.com.
- CT SHPO
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- Local historic districts & commissions
- Local cultural organizations
- CT DECD
- Friends of Main St.
- NWCT Community Foundation
- Connecticut Tourism Bureau
- American Association of Museums
- The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
- American Association for State & Local History
- Heritage Preservation
- Discover New England
- Colleges & Universities
- US Small Business Association
- US Economic Development Agency
- Northwest Connecticut EDC Board
- NWCT Arts Council
- Housatonic Heritage
- NWCT Chamber of Commerce
- Connecticut Landmarks
- CT League of History Organizations
- Connecticut Main Street Center
- Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation
- Connecticut Preservation Action
- CT DOT Environmental Planning Office
- The Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, Inc
- Torrington Historic Preservation Trust
- The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center
- Connecticut Humanities Council
- Connecticut Archaeology Center
- Local & regional land trusts
Potential Funding Streams
- Basic Operational Support Grants for Historic Preservation Non-Profits
- Certified Local Government Program
- Good to Great
- Historic Restoration Fund Grants
- Preservation Restrictions/Easements
- Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Assistance Grant for Historic Properties
- Survey & Planning Grants
- Threatened Properties Fund Grants
- National Trust Preservation Funds
- National Trust for Historic Preservation: Johanna-Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation.
- National Trust for Historic Preservation: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors
- Save America’s Treasures Funding
- Preserve America Grant Program
- Federal Investment/Rehabilitation Tax Credit
- National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund Grants-in-Aid
- US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration
- Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index Communities can use the interactive map as well as download county-wide maps. Access the Litchfield County Social Vulnerability Index here
National Park Service Climate Change Response Strategy 2010
NPS Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy
Adaptation planning For Historic Properties Report
SHPO Resiliency Report from Goodwin – Forthcoming December 2018
Shared Stewardship: Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan CT SHPO intends to develop its resiliency efforts as noted in the Strategic Plan. There will be additional resources on the SHPO website and staff will be working with municipalities and local preservation organizations to enhance resiliency. Goal #4 is “Develop a Resiliency Strategy for Historic Resources”.
HUD’s Economic Resilience Planning Evaluation Tool: The Economic Resilience Planning Tool provides users with a number of best practices to integrate aspects of economic disaster mitigation, preparedness, and recovery into economic development plans.
“Preservation Meets Resiliency: Municipal and State Planning for the Future” Presentation
Tribal Climate Change Guide to Funding, Science, Programs and Adaptation Plans This sortable spreadsheet can help tribes find potential funding sources and other resources. Maintained by University of Oregon.
Survey and Planning Grants, CT Dept. of Economic & Community Development, Offices of Culture and Tourism
Policy Guide on Historic and Cultural Resources, American Planning Association
Preservation & Climate Change, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation and Cultural Resources: Protecting Our Heritage, FEMA
Case Study—CT State Historic Preservation Office Resiliency Assessment
The section is divided into the following major categories:
- Archaeological & Ethnographic Resources
- Social & Governance Resilience
- Local Economy
- Cultural Landscapes
- Buildings & Structures
- Rural Character Components
A tabular version of the actions is available for printing.
Archaeological & Ethnographic Resources
1Cr Identify resources and responsible management groups. Identify building/structure resources such as museum collections and their responsible management groups. Inventory historic, iconic or landmark structures (i.e. covered bridges, mills, etc.) and their managers/owners.
Partners: OHP, NPS, area university; CT State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO); The Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center; CT DOT; local museums and historical societies, Connecticut historical agencies, land trusts
Tools: Cathy Labadia at CT SHPO
Brian D. Jones, CT State Archaeologist
"Hunters and Gatherers, Villages and Farms: A Preservation of the Cultural Resources of the Housatonic River Valley" by Russell Handsman
2006 Housatonic River Management Plan
Mapping Historic Sites In Rural Manitoba: Development, Themes, And Applications
Connecticut Freedom Trail. Published with the Amistad Committee, Inc.
Historic Barns of Connecticut.
Mills: Making Places of Connecticut. https://connecticutmills.org/
National Historic Landmarks in Connecticut
FEMA’s “Floodplain Management Bulletin on Historic Structures” https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/13411
Certified Local Government Program
CT SHPO Case Study
2Cr Include Native American populations in identification, adaptation, and protection of culturally important resources and traditional ecological knowledge.
Social & Governance Resilience
3Cr Review local and regional land use plans in anticipation of development pressures and shifts in development patterns due to climate change i.e. potential movement away from flood zones. Integrate with emergency and infrastructure planning as well. Consider traditional land uses especially livelihood uses (farming, logging, fishing) in these plans.
Partners: local land use commission, COGs, CT OPM, DEHMS
4Cr Assess potential social impacts of climate change on incomes, and other measures of well-being in vulnerable communitiesand senior living facilities, etc.
Tools:: Strengthening Social Resilience to Climate Change, World Bank
Building Social Resilience: Protecting And Empowering Those Most At Risk
5Cr Create climate communication materials in multiple locations & languages. Establish open communication with various community groups in your municipality including those typically disenfranchised, the elderly, and economically disadvantaged.
Partners: local municipal departments
Tools: NobidadeTV and RIDOH Climate Change Program prepared bilingual program on climate change and health with focus on asthma, air pollution, heat, storms, flooding, and emergency preparedness
Building Social Resilience: Protecting And Empowering Those Most At Risk
Participation Tools for Better Community Planning
6Cr Create Regional Task Force on historic and cultural resources to assist in funding, locating, and protecting important regional sites.
Partners: CT Dept. of Economic & Community Dev., Friends of Main St., NW CT Chamber of Commerce
Tools: Bristol RI Business Preparedness
CA Sierra Camp Business Resilience Initiative
8Cr Install signage to welcome people and direct people to shops, restaurants, historical sites, recreational opportunities. Publicize existing recreational assets.
Partners: NHCOG, local economic development commission, Parks & Rec, land trusts
Tools: NHCOG Regional Trails Map
9Cr Integrate climate change and adaptation issues into advanced training in university, community college, and technical training programs. Education and job training programs to re-tool workforce to take advantage of green economy growth. Coordinate with local workforce boards to improve technical skills and to promote traditional skills.
Partners: NWCC, UConn, NWRWIB, NWCT Chamber of Commerce, social service agencies
Tools: 2017 CRRF- Dependency at a Distance: Implications of Workforce Mobility for Community Resilience Video 1 and Video 2
10Cr Identify opportunities for businesses to take advantage of climate impacts that may demand new products and services. Work with business and economic development groups poised to take advantage of new resilience-related market opportunities to find out how the local government could help.
Partners: local economic development commission, chambers of commerce
Tools: Coming soon.
11Cr Increase opportunities for seasonal-dependent businesses (e.g. ski slopes, farms, etc.) to make additional revenue during off seasons. Develop tourism policies integrating economic and resource conservation issues in the face of potential and observed consequences of climate change. Assess the effects of climate change on hunting, fishing opportunities , outdoor recreation, and the related tourism industry. Assess the effects of climate change on special designated natural areas that attract tourists such national parks and forests.
Tools: Recreation's Role in Community Resiliency
Climate Change in Park City: An Assessment of Climate, Snowpack, and Economic Impacts, Stratus Consulting Inc. (2009)
12Cr Relocate or demolish at-risk municipal facilities that cannot be made resilient, and consider establishing an acquisition or buyout plan for at-risk commercial properties.
Tools:local or multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans
13Cr Explore opportunities for local and regional collaboration on resilience with regional governmental entities, chambers of commerce, or regional industry associations.
14Cr Consider climate impacts to access/public comfort/feasibility etc. of traditional community gatherings and events like country fair, harvest picnic, Memorial Day commemorations.
Partners: CEOs, economic development group, event hosts, land trusts
15Cr Conduct Scenic Resource Inventory. Review special character areas, priority rural character traits of town, special land use operations, cemeteries, agricultural areas, town green, and other unique attributes in your town. Inventory iron historical sites, scenic roads, stone walls, ridgelines, view-sheds, and legacy trees.
Partners: local museums and historical societies, Connecticut historical agencies, local land use commission, CT SHPO, CT National Register Coordinator
Tools: Local Natural Resource Inventory
Mapping Historic Sites In Rural Manitoba: Development, Themes, And Application
Scenic road ordinances (Canaan, Kent, New Milford, Sharon)
State Scenic Road designations like Route 7 from the Kent-New Milford Town line north to the Canaan-North Canaan Town line and Route 4 from the River to Dunbar Road in Sharon in Housatonic River Management Plan 2006.
“Developing Your Community Heritage Inventory”
16Cr Review river and waterway access points for high-erosion zones during low-flow events; also consider sensitivity of waterbodies under temperature changes.
Partners: Housatonic River Commission, CT DEEP, USGS, regional conservation organizations
17Cr Identify large stands of climate sensitive flora such as conifers. Discuss alternative management strategies for trees with the utilities esp. along scenic character or town entryways.
Partners: regional conservation organizations, Conservation Commissions, CT DEEP, CEOs, Public Works, Utilities, land trusts
Tools: UConn Stormwise Program (Tom Wordsley)
Buildings & Structures
18Cr Include historic resources in POCDs & economic development plans. Address natural hazards to these resources. Include in implementation matrix. Include historic assets and historic districts as critical features that merit protection and/or planning when considering Disaster Mitigation Plans, Emergency Operations plans, and Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans. Include in mutual aid agreements as necessary. Incorporate cultural/historic resources into-post-disaster plans including recovery plans, debris management plans, recovery ordinances.
Partners: local economic development commission, local museums and historical societies, Connecticut historical agencies, land use commissions, EMDs, CEOs; REPT ESF Chair for Long Term Recovery Planning
Tools: The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) “Integrating Historic Property and Cultural Resource Considerations into Hazard Mitigation Planning”
The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader's Guide Washington, D.C.: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2005
19Cr Educate owners of historic properties on maintaining and protecting their historic buildings. Assist owners of historic properties to protect their sites.
Tools: NPS Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy.
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings
Tools: Historic Preservation Ordinance examples
Rural Character Components
Note: Rural Character Components are from the Wozniak-Brown, Joanna, “Understanding Community Character as a Socio-ecological Framework to Enhance Local-scale Adaptation: An Interdisciplinary Case Study from Rural Northwest Connecticut” (2017). https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/343
21Cr Foster civic and community pride, promote unique attributes. Continue seasonal communal events. Create events that allow all ages to interact. Encourage neighborhood events like block parties, pot lucks, harvest celebrations, etc.
Partners: CEOs, Friends groups, local historic commissions, volunteer groups, parenting groups, local/regional school districts, libraries, senior centers, local land use commissions, neighborhood organizations, affinity groups
22Cr Encourage and promote traditional life skills like composting, seed harvesting, clothing repair etc. Promote your community's traditional trades E,g. A skills co-operative where all members share talents
23Cr Encourage local school to require community service hours especially with local civic organizations to understand how their involvement effects local governance.
24Cr Create multiple methods of attendance at local meetings. Use social media. Create mechanism for participation by part-time residents in town meetings, town committees, and local leadership positions.
Tools: Rural Knowledge Mobilization and Social Media
Partners: NHCOG Regional Housing Council; NHCOG 5th Thursdays events
27Cr Direct development away from character areas and towards village centers. Design for flexibility of use i.e. home businesses.
Partners: local land use commissions
Partners: social service agents, state-wide advocacy groups, local community leaders
Tools: Sustainable CT Equity Toolkit
Antioch University New England Webinar "Equitable Adaptation: Collaborating for Resilience"
Morello-Frosch et al. 2009. The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap. PERE, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.