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Strategies for Community Involvement and Revitalization of Historic Property for Westfield, MA

Preserving a community’s history and culture is essential to revitalizing its economy and ensuring the community keeps its historical origins intact. Some of the ways this can be addressed is by examining policies needed to maintain cultural identity and ways in which citizens can participate in a city’s plan to revitalize or preserve property, whether it be a building, landmark, or downtown area. The approach taken to achieve this examination of preservation was to perform a content analysis. Various regions worldwide have tried to adopt historic preservation strategies in enriching their historic integrity, and there have been several obstacles preventing these communities from genuinely expressing their culture and history. This research aims to distinguish the type of preservation taking place and how the public has participated in such methods of preservation. Pros and cons were also considered when recognizing the strategy each district and region took to preserve their history. Gathering information and examples of global, national, and regional preservation approaches helped to determine the direction of historic preservation the City of Westfield can take and where there needs to be more opportunities for community engagement. It will be beneficial to examine obstacles specific to Westfield that might make historic and cultural revitalization more difficult. Determining the public’s feedback of existing preservation ideas would also aim to bring to light Westfield’s historical and cultural beginnings.

Christopher North '23
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