National Park Service
Heritage Preservation Services   —   Historic Preservation Planning Program
Phoenix, Arizona Bird's Eye View, 1885

Planning Companion

Typical Planning Process
Introduction »

Planning & Historic Contexts »

Comprehensive? »

scale »


Step 1.
Planning for Planning »

Step 2.
Creating a Vision »

Step 3.
Understanding the Resources »

Step 4.
Other Planning Factors »

Step 5.
Issues and Opportunities »

Step 6.
Goals and Objectives »

Step 7.
Implementation Strategies »

Step 8.
Producing the Plan »

Step 9.
Implementating the Plan »

Step 10.
Revising the Plan »

Sources of
Information »

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A Typical Planning Process

Scope of the Plan

A comprehensive historic preservation plan will cover all types of historic and cultural resources in the planning area. It doesnít exclude archaeology or structures or any other type of historic or cultural resource. Of course, the plan should be supported by special planning studies or resource-specific plans that focus on particular types of resources, such as train stations or Paleo-Indian archaeological sites.

A comprehensive preservation plan that omits information on any type of cultural resource ignores important historic preservation information embodied in the relationships among the various types of historic and cultural resource in the planning area, such as cultural landscapes, historical archaeological sites, and historic buildings and structures. Therefore, preparing and implementing a comprehensive preservation plan would require an interdisciplinary effort, increased communication, and coordination.

A resource-specific preservation plan is narrower in scope than a comprehensive preservation plan, because it focuses on a single type of historic or cultural resource, such as archaeological sites or historic buildings. A plan with a narrower scope should have a title that reflects this specialization. Such a plan may be considered comprehensive if it addresses broad issues related to that specific resource type throughout the planning area. If a number of separate resource-specific plans exist for the planning area, but there is no comprehensive preservation plan, it might be a good idea to establish procedures for coordinating activities under all of these plans.

Scope also means who is involved in the development and implementation of the preservation plan. A comprehensive preservation plan would encompass the various audiences for and users of the plan, as well as those who might be affected by the plan and those interested in historic preservation.

Scope also means the planís area of intended influence, which relates to the scale of the plan.

Scope can also refer to the time frame addressed in the plan. A comprehensive plan should cover the entire prehistory and history of the planning area. The time frame of a resource-specific plan would reflect the date range(s) of the particular historic/cultural resource addressed. In addition, preservation planning should pay attention to resources younger than 50 years, although this has political ramifications. because the value of these properties may be less understandable or less acceptable to some people. The plan is an excellent forum for recognizing that the preservation needs of those properties reaching the age of greater than 50 years before the planning cycle ends will need to be addressed.


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