FA and Aga Khan Trust for Culture organized a seminar on ‘Conservation and Local Development’, on 12 Oct at CEPT, shedding light on the intersection between discourses of sustainable development and conservation. Eminent speakers explored these intersections, pointing out the need for inclusive and interdisciplinary practices.
In recent years conservation doctrines have increasingly addressed intersections between the discourses of sustainable development and conservation by acknowledging the specific situations of poorer countries. In practice, conservation professionals have explored these intersections by introducing concerns for resources and livelihoods, including participatory processes, and addressing broader environmental concerns. Many have pointed out the need for conservation practice to become interdisciplinary and inclusive.
The Aga Khan Historic Cities Program (AKHCP) provides an excellent demonstration of regeneration projects in historic areas carried out with the central objective of improving the lives of the inhabitants while also promoting models that will sustain these improvements. The Program has shown how the creation of green spaces, conservation of landmark buildings, improvements to the urban fabric and the revitalization of cultural heritage – in many cases the only assets at the disposal of the community – can provide a springboard for social development.
This seminar, organized in the context of the showing at CEPT of two exhibitions of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, on the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and AKHCP respectively, explores these intersections between local development and conservation through examples of places such as Nizammuddin, Ahmedabad, Amber, Shimla, Coorg, Muziris, Alleppey presented by our eminent guest speakers and their theoretical underpinnings. The overarching question addressed by the seminar speakers would be - what would conservation practice look like if it fully addresses all the challenges of local sustainable development?