Video/Microlecture: Culture, Heritage and Climate Change

green leafed trees
Photo by Daniel Lienert on

A panel discussion organised by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council on the impact of climate change on the built environment. The lecture consists of a panel discussion that focuses on the links between climate change, preservation and future sustainability of historical buildings and modern infrastructure. The lecture also discusses how rise in temperatures, increased weather events, pollution, and frequent catastrophes can impact historical and contemporary infrastructure. The panel discusses two major themes: 

  1. What is the impact of climate change on our existing heritage and what can we do to preserve it?
  2. What is the role of cultural heritage in preserving or delaying the impact of climate change?

Through these themes, the lecture discusses the importance of finding a solution to climate change issues to ensure continued preservation of cultural heritage, history and society. 

Students will learn about the impact of climate change and global warming on the historic and modern built environment. Through examples such as termites destroying monumental buildings and homes, they will also learn about the various ways in which climate change directly impacts the natural environment and has indirect consequences on the built environment. Students will further learn the need for development to include sustainability and reuse of materials to preserve existing and future infrastructure.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change impact heritage structures? 
  2. How does cultural heritage help preserve or slow the impact of climate change?

About the tool

Tool NameClimate Change & Preserving Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Humanities,  Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineCultural Studies, History, Heritage, Architecture, Built Environment, Urban Environment, Culture,, Sustainability 
Climate Topic Climate and Society 
Type of tool Video/Lecture (1 hr 36 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate
Developed byGetty Conservation Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council 
Hosted atYouTube
Computer SkillsBasic