Providence Symposium: Housing

Personal + Political + Preservation

Save the Date for this year’s Providence Symposium — ticket and schedule information coming soon!

Housing and historic preservation go hand in hand. Some of the preservation movement’s earliest efforts were protecting the homes of prominent figures, and today’s preservation nonprofits are still largely associated with historic home markers and house tours. 

But as the United States faces down a housing crisis, preservationists are also being called upon to help inform broader housing solutions. Historic preservation touches the conversation in many ways — from helping homeowners maintain their aging properties, to advocating for zoning policies that shape property value and social equity, transforming underused older buildings into new units of affordable housing, and celebrating the many ways people make a home in the city. Providence’s housing stock is some of the oldest in the country, with almost 70% of available housing built before 1960. This means any plans for the equitable and sustainable future of the city must make good use of its past.

This year’s symposium explores housing in all its complexity. Housing (and access to it) is both intersectional and deeply personal — there’s nothing more personal than where we live and build our lives. And yet it’s also a fundamentally political topic. Together, we’ll explore both dimensions and consider the ways in which preservation can be used to mitigate the housing crisis in Providence and beyond.

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Headline Speakers

Carl Gershenson, Project Director at The Eviction Lab // Alexandra Vondeling from the firm behind Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis // Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, author of Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21st Century Urban America // Lisa Yun Lee, Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum  // Shane Philips, author of The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There)

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