Regenerating Historic Urban Areas Through Sustainable Livelihoods - Problematizing Economy Within Historic Urban Areas
Keywords:Sustainability, Urban conservation, Cultural capital, Traditional crafts
In the historic core of Ahmedabad, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) reported major encroachments, leading to destruction of the tomb of Darya Khan . The encroachments were undertaken by the local community for residential purposes and by the informal sector for commercial purpose, for which the local administration as well as the community were blamed. Urban conservation, as the example indicates, is not limited to the preservation of buildings. It considers architecture of the built heritage as one of the elements of the overall urban setting that includes living expressions such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festivals, and traditional skills implicitly embedded in the community. Heritage is, thus not only a legacy to be preserved for future generations, but also something for and abou,t the existing communities. This paper is based on the premise that today, the sustainability of historic areas rests on due
consideration being given to the role of the communities and improvement of their quality of life through economic augmentation. There is a major shift in focus on the economic value of cultural heritage. But, merely considering the economic value of a historic site and its revenue options will not lead to a comprehensive solution for urban conservation. The aim of this paper is to understand the signiicance of traditional economy in historic urban areas, the current processes of transformation in this sector, and also its potential contribution for managing urban heritage and aiming towards larger goal of sustainability.
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