Optimizing preservation for multiple types of historic structures under climate change

Xiao Xiao, Erin Seekamp, Junyu Lu, Mitchell Eaton, Max Post van der Burg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Scopus citations


    Cultural resources in coastal parks and recreation areas are vulnerable to climate change. The US National Park Service (NPS) is facing the challenge of insufficient budget allocations for both maintenance and climate adaptation of historic structures. Research on adaptation planning for cultural resources has predominately focused on vulnerability assessments of heritage sites; however, few studies integrate multiple factors (e.g., vulnerability, cultural significance, use potential, and costs) that managers should consider when making tradeoff decisions about which cultural resources to prioritize for adaptation. Moreover, heritage sites typically include multiple types of cultural resources, and researchers have yet to examine such complex tradeoffs. This study applies the Optimal Preservation (OptiPres) Model as a decision support framework to evaluate the tradeoffs of adaptation actions among multiple types of historic structures—wooden buildings, masonry and concrete buildings, forts, and batteries—under varying budget scenarios. Results suggest that the resource values of different types of historic structures vary greatly under a range of budget scenarios, and tradeoffs have to be made among different types of historical structures to achieve optimal planning objectives. Moreover, periodic, incremental funding and partial maintenance are identified as optimal funding strategies for preservation needs of cost-intensive historic structures. Also, adaptative use of historical buildings (e.g., building occupancy) can improve the resource values when budget are constrained. The OptiPres Model provides managers with a unique framework to inform adaptation planning efforts for a broad range of historic structures, which is transferable across coastal parks to enhance historic preservation planning under climate change.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number104165
    JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
    StatePublished - Oct 2021


    • Adaptation planning
    • Climate change
    • Decision support tool
    • Historic preservation
    • National park

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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