Perhaps the most significant potential threat is the rapid growth and development of the City of San Antonio.
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Current City of San Antonio guidelines for development around the Missions would permit multi-story, high-density apartment complexes to be built in close proximity to these historical structures. Current zoning regulations and procedures do not offer enough checks and balances. San Antonio needs strong political will to resist pressure from speculative developers. Join the call for smart development to protect our global cultural heritage and build better urban environments.
We can protect our global cultural heritage by building a sustainable future for the local communities of the San Antonio Missions.
The Alliance for San Antonio Missions is a collaborative group dedicated to helping to protect and promote the San Antonio Missions and the local communities that surround them. We are local residents, business owners, neighborhood associations and community organizations connecting with heritage and conservation professionals and friends of the Missions everywhere.
We are proud that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently designated the San Antonio Missions a World Heritage site. These global cultural treasures have long been a center of local community life. We welcome the increased attention and tourism that accompanies World Heritage designation, because we understand and appreciate the unique history of the Missions, and their special relationship of built and natural environments. We believe this designation raises awareness of the responsibility to preserve this heritage, for everyone.
World Heritage designation has tangible economic benefits for many stakeholders. We count on the complex network of the multiple city, county, state, federal and private owners and managers of the San Antonio Missions to use their best resources to promote the Missions wisely. But we are concerned that the existing regulations and policies of the City of San Antonio do not do enough to protect the Missions area from speculative development that may seek to exploit the cachet of World Heritage designation.
We need smart development.
We need to build local infrastructure to manage increased traffic and demands for usage, while preserving and growing green space. We need development that does more than profit the few. We need thoughtful, sustainable development that creates opportunities for our local communities to thrive.
We want to be in the conversation.
At the moment, the local communities of the Missions don’t have an adequate voice in discussions and decision-making about a future that affects us, first, most directly. The Alliance is intended as a platform that will help local communities be heard.
We think that the City of San Antonio needs to revisit its guidelines for protecting the Missions from poor development. Until that happens, we call for all development and re-zoning activity around the Missions to be slowed down. Way, way down.
We also think it’s time to see some big picture ideas on the planning board for development around the Missions. We call for the City to establish a ‘Missions Community Impact District’, which would go beyond considering scenic views to grapple with the greater challenges of urban development. We call on the Mayor to convene an advisory committee. And we would like a seat at that table.
We invite you to join us.
More information about the Alliance and how to get involved is available here.