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In an HBJ post from February (6 February 2012), Christopher Dore noted a recent report from Colorado that summarized the economic impacts of preservation on local and national economies. Reports like this have become increasingly common as many become more aware and accepting of the positive benefits of preservation. Just during the recent economic slump in the U.S. economy, similar reports have emerged out of Nebraska, Washington state, and Pennsylvania, to name a few, followed in November 2011 by a report from the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation (ACHP), an independent federal agency.
One of the conclusions that emerges from these types of studies, which is particularly relevant in the current economic climate, is that historic preservation activities creates jobs, a point consistently made by Donovan Rypkema, an economist and preservationist and one of the lead authors of the ACHP report, who generalizes that spending for new construction is split about half and half between labor and materials, while between approximately two-thirds and three-quarters of rehabilitation spending goes toward labor and the remaining to materials. This means that rehabilitation projects not only produce jobs and employ local labor, but it puts the money into the hands of those that live in the community rather than sending it outside, which is what typically happens when money is spent on materials. Additionally, small businesses are responsible for creating the vast majority of new jobs in America, and historic buildings often provide the ideal location out of which to run a new or small business carrying on the domino effect of the positive economic benefits of preservation. Read more…
Financing Archaeology: The Economic History of Archaeology – Perspectives of the Past for the Future
On 2 May 2012 a workshop will be held at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, funded by the UCL Institute of Archaeology and hosted by the Institute of Archaeology History of Archaeology Network.
Financing Archaeology will address directly the issue of funding in archaeology at a time when funding for research is in jeopardy. By taking a long-range view of the ways in which archaeologists have dealt with limited funding (particularly government funding) in the past, the workshop will provide a historical background to current economic debates on funding an archaeology, tying the historical context firmly to the modern day.