| heritage and conservation

ADDRESSING PARADOXES
Review by A.G.K. Menon
LA 71
The book brings to forefront many challenges of the field of architecture and heritage conservation, which explores complex position in these contexts, of adopting a visionary spirit that respects the past and at the same time is responsive towards the needs of contemporary times.
One of the paradoxes of our society’s engagement with its cultural heritage is that, while in the abstract, we proudly identify with it as evidence of our civilizational achievements, in pragmatic terms, this attachment is not translated into effective policies or practices to conserve it for future generations. Arguably, this may even have contributed significantly to its steady attrition. For example, we routinely eulogize the antiquity and sophistication of ‘living’ historic cities – Varanasi, Ujjain, Madurai, and the hundreds of original cores of modern cities – but the imperatives to conserve them is a notable blind spot in modern urban planning. As a consequence, for decades historic precincts have borne the brunt of uncontrolled urbanization and unplanned development, which have reduced them to the decrepit state they are in today. Typically, the Master Plan of Delhi identified the pre eminent Mughal city of Shahjahanabad as a slum to be razed and redeveloped.



 
CURRENT ISSUE: LA-71
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