URBAN RESEARCH & PLANNING SEMINAR SERIES PROCEEDING:
6th Seminar on Urban and Regional Planning “Exploring Historic Urban Landscapes: Retrospection – Transformation – Revival” held on 26th March 2011
Dr. Noman Ahmed
Professor and Chairman
The Sixth Seminar on Urban and Regional Planning was held on 26th March, 2011 at NED University Main Campus. The event was organized by the Department of Architecture and Planning of the University. Theme of the seminar was “Exploring Historic – Urban Landscapes: Retrospection - Transformation - Revival”, held on 26th March 2011. After tilawat, Prof. Dr. Noman Ahmed, Chairman of Architecture and Planning Department welcomed the delegates. He gave brief background of the past seminars and the intellectual output generated from each event. Prof. Brian Goodey, Joint Centre of Urban Design, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, was the keynote speaker. He explained that as new generations respond to an electronic and globalised world, daily life and public policy seem to connect to events, leaving the settings for those events to take care of themselves. Often the only environmental response is to ensure basic facilities, or to enhance for the benefit of an essential tourist market. Sustainability hovers in the background as a global desire, difficult to achieve at the local level. Prof. Goodey connected that the historic context of our decisions is having a hard time. It is seen as a desirable luxury for those who can afford it, a significant factor in Western planning, but confusion when faced with community protest for basic facilities. But culturally and politically we rely on the shared meanings and understandings behind current public life, and therefore on the landscape and built settings which provide a mental context for our actions.
The big question remains, how, and to what degree should these contexts be conserved, maintained and promoted in contemporary cultural life?
His Excellency Hans Christian – Kint, Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan was the chief guest on the occasion. In his speech he complimented the university management for taking up this vital topic for deliberation.
Engr. Abul Kalam Vice Chancellor NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi gave the presiding remarks. He appreciated the Department of Architecture and Planning for conducting these seminars in a regular manner.
In the introductory session two papers were presented by Mr. Alfredo Conti, Vice President ICOMOS International and by Architect Ms Wajeeha Laiq and Ms. Tania Ali Soomro from Heritage Cell, Department of Architecture and Planning.
The first technical session was chaired by Prof. Dr. S.F.A Rafeeqi. Papers were presented by Mr Masood A. Khan, Historic Cities Support Programme, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Dr. Anila Naeem, Professor, Department of Architecture and Planning, Mr. Ashar Ahmad and Mr. Raffey Ahmed Siddiqui from Department of Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, NED University of Engineering & Technology, and Architect Ms. Ayesha Agha shah, from department of Architecture and Planning, NED University. The panel discussion was led by Prof. Brian Goodey from Oxford Brookes University, UK, Mr. Hameed Akhund, Secretary Sindh Endowment Fund Trust, Karachi. Mr. Arif Hasan Architect, Planner, Karachi and Dr. Nausheen Hafeeza Anwar, Urban Planner, Karachi.
The second technical session was chaired by Dr. Sarosh Lodi, Dean (CEA), NED University, Prof. Del Bo Adalberto Paolo Maria, Architecture and Urban Composition, Faculty of Architettura Civile, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Ms. Sarwat Viqar, from Concordia University, Canada and Ms. Samra Khan, Department of Architecture and Design, COMSATS, Islamabad presented their papers. Penalists for this session comprised, Mr. Alfredo Conti, Dr. Kalimullah Lashari and Mrs. Nasreen Askari. Later Prof. Brian Goodey and Mr Alfredo Conti summed up the seminar session.
Mementos were presented to all the speakers and panelists by the University.
1. RECONCILING THE LIVING LANDSCAPE WITH OUR LIVING CULTURE
Prof. Emeritus Brian Goodey
As new generations respond to an electronic and globalised world, daily life and public policy seem to respond to events, leaving the settings for those events to take care of themselves. Often the only environmental response is to ensure basic facilities, or to enhance for the benefit of an essential tourist market. Sustainability hovers in the background as a global desire, difficult to achieve at the local level.
The historic context of our decisions is having a hard time. It is seen as a desirable luxury for those who can afford it, a significant factor in Western planning, but confusion when faced with community protest for basic facilities.
But culturally and politically we rely on the shared meanings and understandings behind current public life, and therefore on the landscape and built settings which provide a mental context for our actions.
The big question remains, how, and to what degree should these contexts be conserved, maintained and promoted in contemporary cultural life?
My argument will be that these past remnants are not just for the package holiday visitor, but their presentation should serve as an essential, visible, text to remind citizens of the origin or their current beliefs and aspirations.
Urban squares, buildings and routes, and the arrangement of rural land provide the textbook for what we want to retain, retrieve or reject in the future. They are often more eloquent and universal in their language than the modern polemic or app. And we must find ways of re-incorporating them into the thought process of a contemporary population.
Such cultural manifestations last longer, speak louder and punctuate the world and are only neglected because of the instant electronic pseudo-knowledge that envelopes us.
The challenge for those who choose to conserve and understand such places is how to integrate them with current ways of knowing. This is the challenge presented in this address.
Prof. Emeritus Brian Goodey
Joint Centre for Urban Design, Oxford Brookes University
He holds a BA (Nott.) and MA (Indiana), the DIPLA (Central England) and DIPCD (Oxford). An Associate of the Landscape Institute, he is elected FRGS and FRSA. Formerly Chair of the Society for the Interpretation of Britain’s Heritage, he was one of the first elected Fellows of its successor, the Association for Heritage Interpretation.
He Offers consultancy and advisory services to public, private and international agencies in the analysis of town and landscape quality and design, the impact of improvement and cultural policies and programs, and the legibility, interpretation and presentation of historic places and sites.
Brian Goodey has been trained as a geographer in Nottingham and Indiana. He has also developed teaching and training programs in urban design, landscape planning and heritage interpretation at Oxford, presenting the latter in Canada, India, Thailand and several locations in Brazil.
To date he has served as examiner for 50 PhD and 4 M. Phil degrees in heritage planning and management, urban design, architecture, planning, landscape and management. He has supervised, to successful completion, 30 PhD and 6 M. Phil Degrees at Oxford Brookes University.
He continues to publish widely on heritage interpretation, townscape management, and public art and on the impact of development on historic townscapes and local communities.
2. Historic Urban Landscapes: A New Approach to Urban Conservation
Alfredo Conti (ICOMOS)
Modern theory on urban conservation, as defined at the beginning of the 20th century, focused on the concept of “historic centre” as the area of the town that deserved protection and conservation. The UNESCO World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972, and the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, tended to place urban properties in the category of “groups of buildings”, fostering an approach that privileged architectural features. The evolution of the concept of heritage, which encompasses today a variety of tangible and intangible components, together with current requirements derived from economic and social pressures, make that some of the classical concepts and tools seem not be appropriate to handle the present situation.
The concept of historic urban landscape (HUL) was introduced in the international debate in 2005, during a meeting organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Vienna. It was recognized that current theoretical documents and technical tools in force were not sufficient to respond adequately to economic, social and cultural pressures on historic cities, especially those inscribed on the World Heritage List. One main issue was how to integrate contemporary architecture and development pressures in historic cities or urban areas. After the meeting in Vienna, several regional meetings on historic urban landscapes were held over the period 2005-2010. In its capacity of advisory body of the World Heritage Committee, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) fostered reflection and debates on the topic amongst its members. One of the main aspects discussed was whether HUL implied a new heritage category or a new approach to urban conservation and management. After five years of reflection and debate, a proposal of a UNESCO Recommendation on historic urban landscapes was drafted, to be addressed to UNESCO General Assembly in 2011.
Historic urban landscapes means an approach that considers the town as a complex system made up by tangible and intangible components that include historic areas and their natural or built surroundings, aiming to reconcile heritage conservation with economic and social development. Summing up, the concept of historic urban landscapes contributes to assess and understand the town or urban area as a process rather than as an object. In this framework, the aim of this paper is to summarize the debate of the last five years and to introduce the concept of historic urban landscape and its contribution to urban conservation and management.
Alfredo Conti (Argentina)
Alfredo Conti is an architect specialized in architectural and urban conservation (Buenos Aires University). He has worked especially on urban heritage and heritage of the 20th century. From 2000 onwards, he acted as ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) expert for the evaluation and monitoring of World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean and as UNESCO consultant on projects regarding cultural heritage. Mr. Conti represented ICOMOS throughout the elaboration and follow-up of the periodic report on the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Latin America and the Caribbean (2002-2006) and collaborated in projects of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the Getty Conservation Institute and the Organization of World Heritage Cities. His current positions are: Researcher at the Commission for Scientific Research of the province of Buenos Aires; Director of the Research Centre on the Territory and the Environment; Vice-President of ICOMOS; Chairman of the ICOMOS World Heritage Working Group; President of ICOMOS Argentina; Expert Member of the ICOMOS International Committee on Historic Towns and Villages; Professor at La Plata University and Academic Director of the Post Graduate Course on Heritage and Sustainable Tourism, UNECO Chair on Cultural Tourism, Buenos Aires. He has been invited to lecture at universities and academic institutions in the Americas and Europe.
3. ERODING HISTORIC TOWNSCAPES: A Case of Shikarpoor, Sindh
Dr. Anila Naeem
Prof. and Co-chairperson,
Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University City Campus
Most historic cities and urban centers in Pakistan are today imperiled by overbearingly chaotic and unplanned developments; their stories of grandeur being constrained to historic chronicles/ travelogues, or reflected from the muffled on-site reminisces of dilapidated and rapidly vanishing architectural masterpieces. A case in point is the town of Shikarpoor, Sindh; a primary pivot of trade and commerce on the extensive network of routes connecting Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran with India. Established in 1617AD, the town developed as a base for an enterprising community of Hindu merchants. The legacy of these infamous and affluent merchants is reflected through the remnants of the towns’ historic fabric that speaks of a patronage for arts and building crafts. Shikarpoor has undergone major transformations, both in socio-economic and cultural aspects, negatively impacting the historic fabric - today jeopardized by lack of maintenance and rapid demolitions. Owing particularly to 19th and 20th century developments in Sindh the town is left under-resourced in offering economic incentives to sustain its resident communities. Taking notice of its threatened status, Shikarpoor was notified in 1998 as protected heritage under Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (1994). Furthermore, it was notified for inclusion in WMF Watch List 2008 and 2010. But mere notification has so far proved insufficient to prevent the ongoing destruction?
The paper sumarizes, through a brief historical retrospect, the significance of Shikarpoor and its declined status due to societal transformations. An account on its surviving historic fabric aims to give insights on the built form traditions in Sindh, leading towards a summary of threats and problems today faced by such environments.
4. The Future of the People and their Heritage in the Residential Quarters of the Lahore Walled
Masood Ahmed Khan
The Walled City of Lahore continues to have a declining and relatively poor residential population, despite the fact the Walled City provides increasingly cheap homes and jobs for the poor. The reasons for this decline in numbers are many—to be found in the history of the social and political economy of the Walled City and spatial changes in the larger context of Lahore as a whole, as also in certain trends in the course taken by national economic processes. At the same time the Walled City has been turned into a dynamic powerhouse of economic production, most of the benefits of which go to non-residential populations, in the larger context of a generally dysfunctional metropolis of close to ten million people. To what extent does the Walled City have any residual heritage that can help shore up a declining sense of self-identity among the myriad stakeholders: the residents, the citizens of the larger city, of the province of Punjab, of Pakistan, of the World?
What constitutes an urban heritage is an issue that underlies any discussion of the third serious attempt at urban heritage conservation in old Lahore. Based on a close-up study of the residents of a small lane in the Walled City, the paper will examine whether and to what qualitative extent the sense of “heritage” still resides in the stakeholders, confronted by change, poverty, and the externalities of a heritage conservation project. An incipient urban conservation project will be described with ramifications on the residents, on those they are pitted against, and on the future of the Walled City itself.
5. Architecture and City: experiences of Urban Design in Italy and Guang Dong
Del Bo Adalberto
Professor, Architecture and Urban Composition,
Faculty of Architettura Civile,
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
1. The research in architecture
The City is seen as the great sea toward flow the various and numerous rivers of research in architecture. The sentence by L.B.Alberti: The house is like a small city and the city is like a large house, stressing a recognized Italian tradition of research studies on the city, is a brief indication of the issues linked to urban transformations, issues more relevant than ever given the widespread phenomena of urbanization of large parts of the world, the problems of the diametrically opposed so-called Shrinking Cities and the severity of the effects of climate change and energy issue.
In the spirit of L.B.Alberti quotation – which closely combines the architecture of the building and the architecture of the city – the research in architecture mainly concerns the relationships among nature, technique, history and society, involving in a rich interweaving the techniques of analysis and building and urban design with organization, planning, security, construction, conservation and the practice of a profession whose role has taken on ever greater responsibility within the human destiny.
Due to the complexity that the City has to face in the future, it is useful to have a broad and open confrontation shared by different cultures and to consider the special role of Education in architecture.
2. Recent experiences of urban design in Italy and Guandong.
6. Framing Conceptions of ‘Modernity’ and ‘Tradition’ in the Production of Historic Landscapes
in South Asia
Ph. D. Candidate
It has been argued that concepts of modernity and tradition are historical categories that emerged in the context of imperial encounters with the ‘other’ during colonization. This paper will show how the contingent nature of these categories becomes apparent when considering the production of the built environment in South Asia.
The advent of British colonialism in the 18th century precipitated a significant change in the urban landscape of South Asian cities. It also created a binary conception of a modern order that was a break from the local or native order of space. From then on, modernity became the institution of a liberal western order and tradition was what was retained by the natives that had been eclipsed by the new order. This trope of the dysfunctional pre-modern entered into native, nationalist imaginings of the past as well by establishing a binary between what was and what came after as being forever opposed to each other. In order to assert one, the other had to be negated. The imperialist narrative achieved this through asserting the inherently moral nature and legitimacy of the colonial order while the nationalist narrative strove to recover the ‘tradition’ that had been displaced by the colonial order. The modern disciplines introduced with colonial rule did provide a powerful prescriptive model of urban planning that created a privileged position for what has come to be seen as the modern form of the city. However, drawing upon contemporary South Asian urban historiography and my own research I argue that this order was constantly destabilized by native resistance, appropriation, hybridity and accommodation. In doing so, it appears that the production and reproduction of space in the built environment of South Asia constantly challenges notions of a dynamic, all-consuming modernity against a static tradition that needs to be preserved.
7. Viability of Conservation Area Designation - Case Study: Karachi
Ayesha Agha Shah
Department of Architecture and Planning
NED University Karachi
The historical outlook of Karachi is diminishing day by day; the demolition of the listed buildings and unsympathetic development in Karachi caused rapid loss of the cultural and historic urban landscape and destroying the collective character of the city. The characteristics of historic layout do not only include heritage buildings alone; it extends beyond buildings and include streets, boundaries, trees, paths and views. A particular use of buildings, open spaces between, and around buildings such as parks, greens, thoroughfares, chowks (squares) also remind historic views. These ‘collective character’ of tangible monuments and intangible memories need to be protected. The research aims to introduce the concept of Conservation Area Designation to outlive the heritage beauty existing in the city.
Designation of a conservation area is an established philosophy and practice in most developed countries, from which Pakistan can take positive guidance. The research is based on the pre research understanding about the subject including international policies and charters; and how they influenced on the viability of the conservation of historic areas. The research starts by critically analyzing the status of heritage properties, from retrospection to transformation and then its revival form; placing special emphasis on the urgent need of the conservation of historic quarters of Karachi. An analysis of the current status of heritage of Karachi is following by the research project of Karachi Heritage Building Resurvey Project, conducted by DAPNED.
Finally, the paper intends to propose the merit of conservation area designation in terms of cultural, economical and environmental regeneration and its potential of benefits in the context of Karachi.
8. SEASCAPE URBANISM IN THE GULF (AL KHALIJ)
Dr. Samia Rab
College of Architecture, Art and Design,
American University of Sharjah, UAE.
Land and its physical attributes have been central to discourse on architecture and urbanism. Grounded constructs used to explain urban form are consequently used to generate urban design. Though there is vast literature on the centrality of an oceanic perspective to our understanding of cultures, it remains abstract and related to the idea of the ocean.
My paper analyzes the historic urban development of Ras al Khaima on the eastern edge of Arabia. While this Khaliji port settlement benefitted from the lucrative Indian Ocean trade, it facilitated exchange of material, human and capital flows. As one of the ports along the Gulf, it witnessed the coexistence of the Persian and the Arab components. Merchants, lenders, divers, and labour force from all across the region inhabited and participated in the making of this settlements.
My paper reveals Khaliji urbanism as a unique typology based on secure tenure over the connecting ocean, linking diverse people with landscape and seascape ecologies. I will conclude with introducing “seascape” urbanism as a visual complement to the existing domains of “port” and “coastal” urbanism.
Through the case of Ras al Khaima, I argue that consideration of “identity” in Gulf cities necessitates the revival of centrality of the ocean as a unifying geographic entity. The maritime orientation of my paper transcends the contemporary discourse on Khaliji identity from its present insularity. Future considerations of “identity” in Al Khaliji will thus necessitate the revival of centrality of the ocean as a unifying geographic entity.
9. Discovering Tando Adam: The lost Paris of Sindh
Department of Urban & Infrastructure Engineering,
NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi
Rafey Ahmed Siddiqui
Student, Department of Urban & Infrastructure Engineering,
NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi
Located at a distance of 220 kilometers from Karachi is the town of Tando Adam once considered by many to be the Paris of Sindh chiefly because of its landscape. It is one of the oldest recognized municipalities of Sindh and was once a thriving conurbation having infrastructure and facilities that marveled people across the sub-continent.
This paper aims at retrieving the lost knowledge of extraordinary municipal planning and good governance hidden in the labyrinth of the old city which now lies in tatters. Special emphasis has been made on the initial town planning and the mechanism of working of the municipality. It is a retrospect of the city’s prosperous era and reveals a huge repertoire of knowledge ranging from provision of basic utilities to the application of elementary engineering doctrines to disentangle minor glitches.
The paper puts forth in-depth analysis of the city’s demise due to many political as well as socio-economic reasons. It reveals the sudden dip in prosperity during a certain time period which has been identified as the era during which maximum social, political and economic forfeiture was sustained by the city.
The paper in its concluding portion puts forth recommendations based on the research carried out that might place the city on track towards regaining its lost grandeur.
10. A Practice to Design in Historic Texture
M.A architectural Conservation
Practice to design a kind of historical texture is a challenging concern today in the texture and is highly considered in valuable collections. Leaving a large number of spaces around indicators, buildings, especially in the Isfahan, like the western area of AliQapu, Eastern area of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque North-west side of the area of Atiq Mosque, the East Range of Church Bit lahm which have created an undesirable view in the vicinity of the precious cultural wealth. In this exercise regarding the plan of subject and the challenging questions, research is started by selection of site in the area of Jolfa in Isfahan (Location of Armenians) as the architectural and urban style of Isfahan and in the point of Isfahan that today is considered as a favorite zone of economic development and tourism. The concern has begun by studying the values and features of the area including Bit lahm churches, the Mary Church and Jolfa Square,. The process of design with the expressed experiences and considered styles of interventions in historical texture plus evaluation of daring in international experienced designs can show off more wisely and bravely.
11. Iranian Ancient Urban Structure, And Its Situation in Contemporary City
In the process of research methods of site studies to review the site and methods of comparative studies to review experiences made in the world and eventually with analysis, the process of interfere and design have been planned. In the process of design, After analyzing the sites and reviewing the potentials and features of architecture and urbanism in the historical texture, reaching a volume of integration of historical texture as a genuine document is important and on the one hand the valuable wealth of architecture, design should be considered as a fluid, transparent and non-visible volume so that the monuments will not be overwhelmed by design and of course it should not be forgotten that designing the space must inspire and express the spirit of the current time.
Graduated of University of Tehran
In Master of Restoration and Revitalization of Historic Buildings and Textures
The main topic of the following article is based on a study of the structure of Iranian ancient cities. Most of the Iranian ancient cities have had recognizable basis bone and structure, which have been expanded from the most public places of the city (such as Bazaars and Squares) to the most private parts (such as neighborhoods). This type of unique structure organized the city form, and the development of the city occurs within this framework.
There are a lot of examples of such cities that have maintained their main structure, and their ancient form can be easily identified even until the last fifty years which some cases of these structures and details (such as their axes and joints) have been mentioned in this article.
However if we observe the current situation of Iranian cities, we will face the fact that the major expansion of cities has occurred in the contemporary era- specifically in recent decades- and outside of the historical core. Whilst the physical structure of ancient city is suffering severe erosion, and collapse though it is a valuable and integrated social structure. The disconnection and erosion of the physical appearance of the urban pattern, and diffusion of city landmarks, are not only do not show the unified structure, but have transformed the valuable ancient pattern into a major issue.
The main pattern of the city structural body, and its basis, which had been constant through the life cycle of the city, has been transformed due to diffused and unorganized development of the cities. The structure of the Iranian ancient cities which have had unity, integrity and regulation are collapsing within this inconsecutive and irregular development and are remaining as broken frames of the city.
Finding a perfect solution for dealing with historical cities which are collapsing within themselves and expanding towards their suburbs, we have studied the definition of the main structure of the city and the perspective of the theorists in this aspect so that with concluding their concept, we can provide a framework for sustainable development for these cities to propose constant changes in urban cities today and in the future.
Eventually, this paper studies the ideas of structuralists, and the definition of the structure of the urban city, structure of ancient Iranian cities and it's details (joints and axes) and few examples of it. Afterwards, it refers to some examples of expanding ancient cities. Due to the conducted studies, it will present solutions and strategies to achieve sustainable development and returning the expansion of the city to its structural regulations. This paper also refers to successful Iranian and European examples of reviving the ancient structure of the city as a public territory.
12. Middle East meets West.
The impact of Islamic cultural heritage on urban space in Berlin, Germany
Dr. Sigrun Prahl
Department of Design,
University of the Arts Berlin,
Since decades Arabic and Turkish immigrants have come to Germany and they have changed the appearance, culture and urban experience in cities and neighborhoods in a significant way. There are certain neighborhoods in Berlin that have gained a new identity through the mix and interchange of people with different backgrounds and religions intermixed with the local population.
There are three main topics that will be analyzed within this context:
- Small family businesses
- Form and use of public space
- Significant architecture types like mosques
Small scale family businesses shape many streets, they convey a certain array of goods and services within their neighbourhood. Green areas and parks now experience a certain type of use for informal trade or gathering. Mosques as centres of the religious, cultural and social are being built in quarters with a high number of Muslim inhabitants.
The local cultural heritage of the immigrants, indications and traces found in the public area, their affiliation and memory and how this shapes and changes urban space, public life and everyday culture in Berlin will be the focal point of this paper.
For correspondence and further details contact:
Department of Architecture and Planning,
City Campus, NED University of Engineering and Technology,
Moulana Din Mohammad Wafai Road
Karachi 74200, Pakistan.
Phone No: +92.21.99213058, 32620793
Fax: +92.21.99213058, 99261255