Defining Challenges and Building a Policy Framework to Foster Infill Development and Conservation of Historic Urban Cores in LAC

This position paper commissioned by the Inter American Development Bank specifically frames the challenges in developing vibrant historic cores in LAC cities. In LAC, during the 20th century, many of the historic houses and monuments within the regions’ historic cities were abandoned in favor of peripheral areas, with more contemporary living spaces and modern amenities. Urban planning and heritage management strategies in LAC do not feature an integrated approach. Across LAC, A total of 18 countries have implemented interventions in a total of 48 historic centers. Most of these experiences have been the result of specific master plans for historic centers, usually designed and executed by the agency in charge of historic center management. The position paper first summarized the importance and best practices of formulating successful urban regeneration projects in historic cities and the necessity of an integrated and holistic approach, involving all stakeholders. It then frames the positive impacts of historic city regeneration on infrastructure development, Local Economic Development, property values and the real estate market both in the historic district and the city as a whole. The last section sets out a way forward for the region to promote and leverage its historic assets to by integrating historic areas in the wider planning issues, such as new development strategies, social and economic factors, land use, height and density, transportation, and infrastructure. It lays out a leadership model for city governments to revitalize historic centers by taking into account physical rehabilitation of buildings and public spaces in addition to rejuvenation of social and economic base.