Traditional Wisdom
A Post Colonial Paradigm of Universal Interest | Narendra Dengle
LA 51
Cultural Landscapes of South Asia: Studies in Heritage Conservation and Management
Author: Kapila D. Silva and Amita Sinha
Published: Routledge, New York, 2017

Conservation has become a major issue in dealing with city development plans. With the varying contexts of the different timeframes of existence of the city, one sees different schools of thought emerge that tend to guide the masses down different directions of sustainability perceptions and development ideals.

With the architectural notions, thus, being a subject of time, this discord in ideas must be resolved or atleast acknowledged to allow the notion of heritage to achieve some level of inclusivity in designing, Moreover, the gap between the perception of sustainability and the implementation of conservation needs to be bridged if one wants to allow the cultural landscape to be preserved.

The book is part of a series termed Routledge Research in Landscape and Environmental Design which includes academic monographs for scholars working in the disciplines that overlap to cover the wide ranging issues of landscape, culture, and environmental design.

The two editors and ten contributors with a background in academics in India and US have contributed papers from their rich experience in field studies and practice from six countries of South Asia. Rahul Mehrotra, in the prologue emphasises the importance of the book as an effort to find a strategic engagement base for the conservation movement and a conservation theory that is critical in its approach.

Conservation has become a major issue in dealing with city development plan anywhere in the world combining tangible and intangible issues where landscape becomes perhaps the most important layer. The major concern has been the varied pallet of imagination of the past-present and future, which drives citizens, bureaucrats, politician, and the so-called futuristic builders of economy in different directions. This complexity of imagery of time brings multiplicity in perception of sustainability, conservation and their impact on the development plans of cities. Past and future are seen as adversaries by many. So the battle is between a past and a future-both imagined and hence often far from the reality that is the present. For the developing world the future is too often an emulation of a pattern from the developed world while the past is a romantic nostalgia for an antiquated culture to get lost into.

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