SUBJECT : 19 April 2021- Webinar Report 




On the event of the ‘World Heritage Day’, SPA ENVIS RP had organized a webinar with the topic ‘Culture and Heritage of Delhi City’ to discuss the cultural and heritage legacy of the city and to evaluate how heritage and culture should be integrated in the way of conservation and sustainable development.

Topic: “Culture and Heritage of Delhi City”

Date: April 19, 2021; Time: 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM

Key Speaker: Prof. Anuradha Chaturvedi, Head, Department of Architectural Conservation, SPA, New Delhi

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Meenakshi Dhote, Head, Department of Environmental Planning and Coordinator, SPA ENVIS RP on Human Settlements and their Impact on Environment

About the speaker: Prof. Anuradha Chaturvedi,  An Architect by profession, is presently the Head of  Department of Conservation of Architecture at School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Her expertise is in the field of Heritage Management, Urban conservation and Sustainable Development. Apart from her academic experience of more than 32 years in the field of Cultural and Architectural Conservation of Heritage, she has been extensively involved in various projects of Government of India and other State Governments projects, specified for Heritage Management and Sustainable Development. She has given a new dimension in defining the heritage conservation as a resource, to revitalize the future with sustainability. She has been an instrumental in developing a mobile app called ‘WE Conserve’ for conservation of heritage site, which will help to provide viable procedures and solutions to the users.

Overview and Topics of Discussion

The webinar started with the description of UNESCO world Heritage sites focusing on how and why it is important for human. According to UNESCO, an area is a world heritage site if it is scientifically, historically, or culturally significant and is protected by international treaties. The site should be a landmark that is unique, either historically or geographically, with physical or cultural importance. Sites that represent the creative genius of humans, rich cultural traditions, and interchange of human values or those associated with historical events are also recognized as Heritage Sites. Delhi is without doubt, a city of international standing and significance. Diverse historical, cultural and environmental exigencies have created the city that is today recognized globally as the capital of an important developing nation. Delhi's aura of a capital city goes back many centuries and its outstanding universal value stems from the fact that it was the capital of significant kingdoms and often sub-continental empires, which in many ways facilitated the development of a cultural synthesis that flowered into a sophisticated and mature form and in turn exerted an influence over a wide geographical area. They used styles that consciously sought to incorporate meaningful elements from different traditions. Delhi's unique cultural landscape evolved from the mingling of multiple streams of cultural impulses from the Islamic and European worlds. The extension of its integrated culture was a result of cross fertilization in the process of continuous development as a major Centre of power, culture and learning in the medieval world. In the design of New Delhi, Edwin Lutyens picked up motifs and forms from the Mughal past and thereby introduced another powerful tradition — that of India's ancient Buddhist sites. This syncretism can be seen in historic buildings throughout Delhi, in all four areas being nominated as part of the World Heritage City of Delhi-Mehrauli, Nizamuddin, Shahjahanabad and New Delhi.

As present time Delhi has three world Heritage sites namely- Qutub Minar and its monuments, Humayun’s Tomb and Red Fort Complex. The Nizamuddin Dargah area, Sunder Nursery complex are in the list to be declared as the fourth UNESCO world Heritage sites. It is Delhi's surviving historic urbanscape comprising of four precincts of Mehrauli, Nizamuddin, Shahjahanabad and New Delhi that still have an outstanding universal significance, that are being proposed for nomination as a World Heritage City.

A Mobile based application is being developed by the Department of Architectural Conservation, SPA to raise awareness about the Historical and cultural significance and allows people to take active participation in conserving them. The application runs on the idea that a tenant/ owner need to take picture of the destruction/cracks and other damages to the historical building(s) and the expert from the various field will diagnose what appropriate action should be taken at primarily and later stage. This application is also helpful to the owner(s) those are unable to renovate the Historical building due to financial scarcity.

At the beginning, Prof. Dr. Meenakshi Dhote, SPA-ENVIS Coordinator, Head, Environment Planning Department, SPA, New Delhi, gave a welcome address to the participants and after the presentation she also delivered the vote of thanks. 

 Preliminary focal areas:

  • ·         Principles of culture and heritage
  • ·         Tradition awareness through Amar Chitra Katha
  • ·         Community/Local  participation
  • ·         Common concern, common tools and common understanding
  • ·         Sustainable and ecologically viable town planning near the heritage sites

 Key Takeaway

  • ·         Integrated Approach
  • ·         Engagement of Local community
  • ·         Collaboration with concern authority
  • ·         Public open space regeneration
  • ·         Traffic management around heritage sites
  • ·         Identification of conservation point
  • ·         Sustainable town planning