Special Issue on UNESCO : Volume V Issue 1

About the Volume

Dilapidated urban fabric, unplanned growth, insensitive new development, encroachments and a web of electric wires are constant maladies that plague the historic core of majority of Indian cities. Though India is on the road to urban conservation with several initiatives taken at the international, national and local level in the last decade, we still have a long way to go. The cultural diversity of Indian cities entwined with complex historic layers and unique geomorphology present a challenging task for conservationists, urban planners, environmentalists, anthropologists, sociologists, engineers and other associated professionals at large.

Do we really understand our historic cities? And, are we equipped to conserve these in the best possible manner? This special volume presents the history and town planning traditions through centuries and aligns them with recent efforts in urban conservation.

Documentation of physical features and cultural mapping is the first step towards establishing heritage values of the social, natural and built environment. It leads to a better understanding of evolution of a city or a town, which forms a crucial prerequisite for any conservation work. This point is emphasised in the article on Bithur, an unknown, forlorn historic settlement representative of the several small sized towns sprawled across the country laced with their own local history.

The methods and approaches to Indian town planning and to the process of conservation can be observed across India in the chronological presentation of city development. Beginning with the description of archaeological settlements in Rajasthan, the ancient hill town of Chamba, the Hoysala towns in the south, religious city of Nashik to the later Mughal, Medieval and Rajput cities of Gwalior, Jaipur and Shekhawati, we finally review the Colonial town planning of Calcutta and the post independence vision for Chandigarh.

Issues associated with heritage management, planning, legislation and sustainability of historic Indian cities are exemplified under ‘sustainable solutions’ with the case of an Integrated Management Plan for the Hampi World Heritage Site, Master Plan proposal for the historic pete in Bangalore, need for heritage resource management at Udaipur, heritage valuation in Chennai, the legislative apparatus in Haryana and finally the role models for heritage legislation and community participation i.e. the cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Shikha Jain


About the volume
Urban conservation for development : The UNESCO cultural convention
Minja Yang

Compiling Records
Bithur : Brahmavarta - Rajat Ray et al

Methods and Approaches Indian Cities and Urban Conservation
Rajasthan : An overview of the early urban planning traditions
Rima Hooja
Chamba : Urban evolution of an ancient town in the Himalaya
Manu Bhatnagar
The Hoyasala heritage towns of Karnataka : Managing the cultural identity of historic urban places
Jyoti Hosagrahar
Nashik : Historic layers and complexities in conservation
Dronah et al
Chanderi : The built heritage
Meera I Dass, Ishwar Dass
Gwalior : Medieval heritage and conservation issues
Savita Raje
Amber and Jaipur: The territorial demarcation of a city
Remi Papillault
Shekhawati : Contours of urbanization
Urvashi Srivastava
Darjeeling : History and the challenges of conservation
Kai Weise
Calcutta : A case of colonial planning
Monideep Chattopadhyay
Cobusier’s Chandigarh : Urban planning and legislation
Kiran Joshi

Sustainable Solutions Heritage Management, Planning and Regulation
Hampi : Statutory spatial planning tools for sustainable and value-based development of a World Heritage Site
Nalini Thakur, Shubhru Gupta
Bangalore : The informal economy of the historic pete
Champaka Rajagopal
Haryana : Review of urban planning and development control acts
R L Bawa
Chennai : Sustaining urban pressures of heritage demolition
M Subash Chandira, Rechna Sashidaran
Udaipur : Sustainable urban development of the heritage city
Pramod Paliwal
Mumbai : An overview of policies and their impact on the historic fabric
Vikas Dilawari
The Case of Ahmedabad : Heritage regulations and participatory conservation
Debashish Nayak, Anand Iyer

Heritage Album
A Tale of Pondicherry
INTACH Pondicherry Chapter Reviews
Book Review : “Heritage and Environment : An Indian Diary”
by Shyam Chainani - A K Jain