Preserving the past through architecture in a constantly advancing global society - a Youth Perspective

By Erika Marie Santelices, AUN Intern
7 September 2020

In a global society that is in a constant state of change and development, it is important to note that things of the past can hold tremendous value and could possibly contribute to global advancements. In architecture, modern heritage conservation has been a significant topic of discussion as many argue that heritage sites should be replaced with something more profitable. Personally, these heritage sites should be preserved given that they contribute to a country’s cultural identity and as well as the process of conservation being more environmentally and economically friendly over complete demolition.

One of the main arguments used against the idea of conservation is that people tend to think that preserving something of the past does not directly translate to economic growth and that replacing and reconstructing heritage sites with modern structures would increase the number of jobs and would boost the local economy. While some will argue that sites in key strategic urban development locations are better off as malls or housing complexes, keeping them as modern heritage sites can hold more economic value and may even create as many job opportunities in construction and repair, if not more than demolishing the site would lead to, not to mention its cultural value. Conservation is even beneficial from an environmental standpoint.

Because the conservation process seeks to preserve as much of the original structure as possible and only pinpointing minor changes to be made in order to maximize each site’s use, this saves a tremendous amount of raw materials and resources that would otherwise emit large quantities of greenhouse gases.

Overall, we as regular individuals must be more aware that advancing and developing do not always necessarily require replacing older constructions. We attach much more meaning and memories to places with historical value over a modern towering skyscraper, creating a sense of cultural identity by both within ourselves and the nation as a whole; and with modern heritage conservation, this will be made even more possible, bringing along many other positive contributions with it.