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 »

scope »

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

Step 5. What Issues, Threats, and Opportunities Need to be Addressed?

Evaluating the status of the resources and other factors that affect their preservation helps us define issues, threats, and opportunities that need to be addressed during the planning process. These can also be seen as challenges, obstacles, and advantages that we will face as we move toward our vision of preservationís future. These also help us define priorities and identify goals and objectives.

This doesnít mean that we have to define and examine all possible issues. The plan should discuss the issues that were identified in special planning studies, as well as those raised by professional groups, stakeholders, and the public have raised during public workshops and meetings as being important and deserving attention during the time frame of the plan.

It should be fairly straightforward to identify issues, problem areas, threats, and opportunities, based on the analyses of historic and cultural resources and of other relevant factors in Steps 3 and 4, and on the results of public and stakeholder participation events.

For example, a study of historic resource status found that the survey information about the northern and western parts of the planning area is scanty. From an examination of other factors, we learned that these areas are experiencing rapid and imminent development. Comments from residents show that they value highly a number of historic resources, but that these resources have not yet been surveyed or registered. The issue, then, is that an unknown number of possibly significant resources may be damaged or destroyed by private development action. An opportunity for assistance in resource survey and preservation may exist in the high level of interest expressed by the residents in those parts of the planning area.

Issue — statement of a problem to be analyzed and resolved through the planning process.

Threat — action that may damage or destroy a historic or cultural resource.

Opportunity — a situation, strategy, or tool that could be used to benefit historic and cultural resource preservation.

Examples of Threats

    Natural Forces
    • Erosion, flooding
    • Weathering
    • Vegetation
    • Earthquake, hurricane, tornado, etc.
    • Fire
    Human Action
    • Looting
    • Vandalism
    • Ignorance
    • Changes in property/land use
    • Abandonment of property
    Institutional Action
    • Agricultural activities
    • Mining, quarrying
    • Oil & gas exploration, extraction
    • Land modifications
    • Land development
    • Highway construction
    Laws & Regulations
    • Incompatible laws, regulations, procedures

Additional guidance on Identifying Issues and Opportunities can be found in Sources of Additional Information — just click on the menu link to the left.

Go to Step 6»

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