"Set within a river valley and sprawling out over its surrounding hills, San Antonio will not - because it cannot - fully escape the convergence of climate and geography that produces...rampaging waters that regularly have scoured the floodplain on which the city has been built."
Char Miller, On the Border: An Environmental History of San Antonio
Preservationists have been engaging with sustainable practices including adaptive reuse, material conservation, and traditional crafts and trades for decades. The built environment of San Antonio bears the mark of centuries of hazard events including flash flooding, droughts, and violent storms. With this knowledge of past climate adaptations, OHP is addressing the challenges of climate change as it impacts the cultural heritage of San Antonio. Cultural heritage anchors social memory and cohesion, informs community identity, and instills a sense of place. This is essential in sustaining inherent resilience.
In 2018, OHP participated in the Climate Heritage Mobilization, a Global Climate Action Summit affiliated event. At this event, the City of San Antonio’s Historic Preservation Officer Shanon Miller and Chief Sustainability Officer Doug Melnick participated in an intense program along with dozens of other international heritage actors working to mobilize to address climate change. Out of this mobilization the Climate Heritage Network was formed and formally launched in October 2019.