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Inclusive India – Re: Pune

Inclusive India – Re: Pune

Mejan Arc, Architectural Conservation, 2011/2012
Course on advanced level, 60 ECTS.

To conserve and preserve cultural heritage, its architecture and tales, when re-developing a historic city is a challenge with a multitude of possibilities and resources. The ever-increasing pace of urbanization demands new strategies, new actors and new values. Inclusive India – Re: Pune focused on these questions

The city has become the symbol of social and political change encompassing the hopes of its citizens for a better future which challenges planners worldwide. Most historic cities are protected urban landscapes. Yet modernization, expansion and development can inflict violent transformations and degradation on these fragile landscapes, often inhabited by the poorer residents of the metropolis with no power or access to the planning process. Every city is a unique, complex environment where both buildings and public spaces are symbolic expressions of memories and identity. The historic layers of a city provide evidence of its varied sub-cultures and different communities, bearing witness to a multi-cultural society and a mosaic of the tales a city consists of. How can we define the values of historic places in a state of constant evolution? How can we preserve the specific qualities of these environments as a resource in the rehabilitation process? How can architects, antiquarians, planners and other preservation professionals improve the existence and the visibility of the different values of the place, while ensuring the inclusion of the local community at the heart of the process?

The course project developed conservation strategies for Pune’s historic core using integrated conservation from a democratic perspective and developed a model which can be used by other historic Indian cities of similar size, showing how conservation can be designed to enhance and preserve the extended values of place while at the same time be a part of the development process. The project evaluated how conservation can contribute to better living conditions by local inclusion, extending value judgments to include intangible heritage and to prevent gentrification of the renewed historic environment. What can we learn from extended value analyses that include local citizens?
Will it deepen our concept of values in conservation? How can this extended concept be included in the conservation project? Will it affect our concept of what should be preserved and what should not? How can we implement environmental goals in the conservation project without losing the values and complexity of the place?

This year Architectural Conservation collaborated with the Indian School of Architecture BNCA/Pune and with the Indian conservation organization INTACH.

More information here.

Download the project catalogue:
Inclusive India – Re: Pune


Planning India

Inclusive India – Re: Pune
is part of the collaborative project Planning India.
Read more here.

During 2010-2013 the courses in architecture and architectural conservation at The Royal Institute of Art have been collaborating with BNCA, a school of architecture for women in Pune, India. The aim of the collaboration has been to expand the field of and the knowledge about sustainable architecture, with focus on a local Indian context with its poentials and possibilities. A new website has now been launched with documentation from these three years. The objective of the website is to have a continued discussion about Indian and urban development.

The project is supported by SIDA (Indo-Swedish Facility for Environmental Initiatives and Innovations) with The Royal Institute of Art and BNCA as financiers in a partnership cooperation.