"A typical building in a North American downtown – 25 feet wide and 100 or 120 or 140 feet deep. Let's say that today we tear down one small building like this in your neighborhood. We have now wiped out the entire environmental benefit from the last 1,344,000 aluminum cans that were recycled. We've not only wasted an historic building, we've wasted months of diligent recycling by the good people of our community." - Don Rypkema
Don Rypkema is recognized as an industry leader in the economics of preserving historic structures. He is the principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development-consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures. In 2004 Rypkema established Heritage Strategies International, a new firm created to provide similar services to world-wide clients. He also teaches a graduate course in preservation economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rypkema is well known throughout the preservation world, but is making his way through the business and economic development world by peddling the power of preservation. With several case studies to support his claim that historic preservation is, in fact, profitable, he claims "development without downtown revitalization and historic preservation components is not sustainable."