What Conservation Can Do For Community: Maximizing the Contributions of Adaptive Reuse Interventions to Community Development
Calder, Amy Marie
MetadataShow full item record
Small population centres across southern Ontario are in a period of transition motivated by macro-level environmental, political, economic and socio-cultural trends. These trends strain municipal resources, services and infrastructure, and can result in disproportionate population change, poor youth retention, decreasing local services and higher costs of living (Duxbury, & Campbell, 2011). Given these pressures, municipalities are using community development (CD) to improve their economic, social and cultural conditions. Some are conserving and reusing their built resources to achieve sustainable CD that supports environmental, economic, social and cultural outcomes. The primary study objective is to create a model for maximizing the contributions of an adaptive reuse intervention (ARI) to CD that can be used by small population centres with historic physical assets. A mixed method research design is used, which involves concurrent collection of qualitative and quantitative data from questionnaires, secondary sources and observation. The study includes five case studies of former public sector building reuse in geographically distinct locations across southern Ontario. Each case is analyzed using a summative evaluation process, which includes description of ARI outputs and outcomes, illumination of factors that program outputs and outcomes can be plausibly attributed to, and determination of the impacts of identified factors beyond target objectives. ARI outputs and economic, social and cultural outcomes are evaluated against ARI objectives, and against city-wide CD objectives. A collective case study method is employed to highlight variations in ARI inputs, outputs and outcomes, and to illuminate factors that may influence an ARI’s contributions towards CD. Study results are synthesized to create a logic model that highlights resources and activities that may maximize the contributions of ARIs. The model visualizes relationships between ARI inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes, and acknowledges underlying assumptions and external influencing factors. The importance of human resources are evident within ARI inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes, which underscores the theoretical position that partnerships between stakeholders are essential for cultural heritage resource conservation projects (Macdonald, 2011). External factors are contextual and structural in nature and related to the characteristics of the municipality and adapted building. By providing a model of best practice this study contributes to discussions about processes that can foster sustainable CD in small population centres.