Why Old Places Matter
Historic preservation links its people to its roots: how the community started, its significant contributions to the entire society, how it’s going to influence the future, etc. To simplify it, old places add quality to life to the community.
“Old places are just as important as new ones because they hold memories and deliver a sense of identity, continuity, and belongingness. Sometimes we fail to recognise certain places that have no significant appeal architecturally or historically speaking but are also important for social well-being.”, explains Alistair Clare, a leisure loans consultant at Credit Capital.
Historic preservation involves more than building restorations and putting antique items in museums: it should also include understanding and appreciation of its economic, environmental, cultural, and education impact.
Let’s explore further why old places matter.
Preserving old places is a strong economic engine. Many economic development studies have pointed out that historic preservation effectively increases tourism revenues, provides jobs, and increases household income. When you restore and preserve old communities, the neighbourhoods and commercial districts are revitalised. People start coming in again, which is attractive to investors.
Heritage tourism is probably the most evident benefit of taking care of old places. Numerous people are deeply fascinated by places where history happened, and they also enjoy sharing stories about visiting these sites. Heritage tourists spend a substantial amount of money every year.
According to 2019 data, 53% of international visitors to Australia participated in cultural or heritage activities.
Old places make communities more beautiful, more vibrant, and more enjoyable. They connect people to the past, and with each other. You probably heard someone say, “You visited the old train station? We used to play there when we were kids!”. People can feel more connected by merely knowing that they came from the same place.
Old structures and spaces are also representations of how the community evolved over the years. They represent traditions, events, and beliefs from which the community grew—strengthening one’s sense of identity.
Rehabilitating structures—instead of building new ones—has a lesser impact on the environment. When you demolish an old structure and build a new one, you’ll have to discard outdated materials and purchase new ones. Large amounts of resources will be used for both processes.
Preservation efforts help mitigate environmental degradation and energy consumption. There are experts in this field who can evaluate how much work is needed to restore old places.
Old places offer boundless learning opportunities. These places are physical witnesses to history; they hold stories, traditions, beliefs, and values. Students and other community members can learn lessons related to sociology, economics, environment, arts and crafts, urban planning, transportation, and many other topics.
Historical education can be reinforced if you actively participate in the preservation of old places.
Are you into heritage tourism? Do you want to learn more about Australia while enjoying scenic views and interesting stories? Visit Mount Kembla!
Mount Kembla is a suburb in the Illawara region of New South Wales, Australia.
This quaint community has a rich history that is closely tied to coal mining. Ready for your Mt. Kembla adventure? There’s 3 self-guided walking tour maps to download on the Heritage Centre page under Tours.