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Heritage at Risk: Mobilizing Canadians Towards Mitigation Strategies

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12:00 PM, Friday 27 May 2022 (20 minutes)

“Heritage at Risk” traces up-close consequences of climate change on Canadian architectural heritage and convenes adaptation strategy responses, with the purpose to build interest and consensus surrounding the threat of climate change and heritage-related resilience. Through the comparison of mitigation approaches, the goal is to translate the topic from the heritage literature to more locally related insight and empower conservation sustainability projects through practice examples and shared knowledge. Keeping in mind the intractable conjunction of humans and architectural heritage, this relationship can reveal tangible and emotional resonance of the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

This presentation investigates the main climate change threats in specific areas, recognizing that heritage vulnerability varies greatly within and between Canadian regions, while entangled in impacts locally, nationally, and globally. The main threats are categorized as: rising sea levels, thawing permafrost, coastal/riverbank erosion, and rising temperatures. The presentation explores the conditions of sites in Newfoundland East, and Dawson City, Yukon. It also investigates several recent strategies from the United Kingdom to compare processes at an international scale. Built heritage adaptation is a response to the physical and social environment, and climate change threat is affecting Canadian regions differently, therefore linking the specific heritage practices and the community involvement to the key risks of the area is essential. Through several Canadian case studies, the project analyses the resilience in both humans and built fabric.

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