Resilient Heritage in the Nation’s Oldest City

Location: St. Augustine, FL
Date: August 2020

The loss of belongings, personal property, and public sites following a  disaster is devastating on multiple fronts–economically, socially, spiritually. The loss of heritage resources is uniquely disastrous. Cultural
heritage plays a significant role in contributing to one’s social and psychological comfort. In many cities, historic resources are integral to local economies, and their loss denies the city a source of new businesses, jobs, and income. Countless studies have shown that historic districts support small and startup businesses, diverse business ownership, and a more active streetlife both day and night. These attributes mean that historic resources can help a city recover faster from a disaster. For this reason, heritage resources must be considered an integral component if any resiliency strategy. PlaceEconomics was thrilled to join Taylor Engineering, Inc., The Craig Group, Archaeological Consultants, Inc., and Marquis Latimer + Halback  to complete this important study.

PlaceEconomics was responsible for Chapter 3 of this report: “Economic Analysis of Past Flood Events and Future Projections.” The goal of this analysis is to understand the economic consequences of storm damage to a city’s historic resources. This is achieved in three parts: 1) By quantifying the present total value of St. Augustine’s historic resources, and those at particular risk; 2) By assessing the economic impact experienced following a storm event and measuring the loss of jobs, income, and visitor expenditures due to decreased tourism visitation, and; 3) Predicting the impact that the loss of historic resources would have as the result of future extreme weather events.

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