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Karachi Historic Buildings Re-survey Project (KHBRP) (2006-Ongoing)

During 1994–1997 through efforts of a NGO (Heritage Foundation) over 580 buildings of Karachi, located within its historic core were declared protected under ‘Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act 1994’, by the Department of Culture, GOS. But ground realities showed that many of these historic structures faced continued threats of demolition or collapse due to purposeful negligence and lack of maintenance. Absence of regular monitoring, an ambiguous method of listing and above all lack of professional/ technical expertise in heritage conservation and management have been major causes of failure in ensuring preservation of Karachi’s historic fabric. Realizing this gap the Department of Culture, GOS, and Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University, collaborated to initiate a research based re-survey of Karachi’s listed properties.

In 2006 a working paper for ‘Karachi Historic Buildings Re-Survey Project’ was submitted by HC-DAPNED, proposing a three phased comprehensive survey of city’s historic quarters and architecturally significant properties. Prior to commencement of field work a ‘criteria for listing’ was developed as part of this research; presented to the Heritage Advisory Committee, and was officially approved and adopted for heritage listings across Sindh. This systematic ‘criteria for listing’ gives a clear framework for enlisting culturally, historically and architecturally significant properties; additionally helping establish the value and parameters of significance for each listed case. The heritage inventory documents compiled for surveyed quarters, and submitted to Department of Culture, GoS, are now being used as resource database by its Heritage Advisory Committee for effective monitoring of listed properties. Work was undertaken on first phase of the project, with a nominal funding support from Department of Culture, GoS, and in-house facilitation and resource sharing from NED University.

(1st Phase 2006 - 2010)
The first phase of this project, covering ‘nineteen historic quarters’ of Karachi, was completed in 2010. Outcomes of this phase were presented to Heritage Advisory Committee in February 2010; with consecutive follow-ups to pursue official enlistment notification of identified properties for inclusion in the list of protected heritage of Karachi. As a result of these efforts 1061 properties, including buildings, open spaces and urban elements (in addition to the earlier listed 581 properties) were notified as protected heritage by the Department of Culture, GoS, through a gazette notification issued in April 2011.

(2nd phase 2011-Ongoing)
The second phase of project, extending the survey and mapping process into historic quarters and areas of Karachi that were not covered in previous listing process commenced in September 2011 and inventory documents of two quarters (i.e. Ramswami and Soldier Bazaar) were compiled and submitted to Technical Advisory Committee in January 2012, for review and on-site verification. Feedback from Technical Sub-committee on Heritage, GoS, was incorporated in final version of both documents, and re-submitted to Department of Culture in April 2012. Enlistment notification of November 2013 adds another 101 properties identified from these two quarters to Karachi’s protected heritage list.

Field work on remaining areas identified for surveys in 2nd phase of the project is temporarily suspended due to lack of resources and pending release of promised funds from Department of Cuture, GoS. HC-DAPNED, nevertheless, hopes to sustain this ongoing research and extend the inventory survey to areas of Karachi that remained un-surveyed during initial listings of 1994–97. In the 3rd phase of this project, iconic buildings of Karachi’s contemporary history will be identified for enlistment.

Over 1160 historic properties in Karachi have so far been identified and given protected status through the KHRBP initiative.

Publications Series: Monographs on Karachi’s listed heritage properties compiled in quarter-wise volumes; for disseminating research outcomes are presently being compiled for future publication.

Project initiator and research anchor: Prof. Dr. Anila Naeem
Project Team: Ar. Ayesha Agha Shah (architect HC-DAPNED 2006-08), Ar. Mahesh Kumar & Ar. Tahira Shaukat (architects HC-DAPNED 2007-09), Ar. Tania Soomro & Ar. Wajeeha Laiq (architects HC-DAPNED 2009-13)

Related Publications, Presentations and Press Links:
 
NAEEM, A. (2013) "The Conflict of Ideologies and Ambiguities in Conservation Policy: A Legacy of Shared Built Heritage in Pakistan". IN SILVA, K. D., CHAPAGAIN, NEEL K. (Ed.) Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects. London-New York, Routledge.

NAEEM, A. (2011) “Inventory of Historic Places: A Systematic Method for their Identification, Evaluation and Determining Significance Part I: Core Data and Inventory Form” NED Journal of Research in Architecture and Planning, 10, pp. 24-34. (PDF)

NAEEM, A. (2011) "Inventory of Historic Places: A Systematic Method for their Identification, Evaluation and Determining Significance Part II: Case Studies". NED Journal of Research in Architecture and Planning, 10, pp. 24-34. (PDF)

NAEEM, A. (2009) "Recognizing Historic Significance Using Inventories: A Case of Historic Towns in Sindh, Pakistan”. Oxford, Oxford Brookes University (PhD Thesis, Unpublished).

NAEEM, A. (2004) "Karachi: Losing its Historic Face". NED Journal of Research in Architecture and Planning, 3, pp.78-91. (PDF)

HF (1996) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Three – Saddar Bazaar Quarter”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

HF (1996) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Six – Karachi Cantonment and Manora Island”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

HF (1996) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Seven – Old Town, Bunder, Macchi Miani & Railway Quarters”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

HF (1996) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Four – Artillery Maidan and Rambagh Quarter”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

HF (1996) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Five – Market & Jail Quarters”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

HF (1996) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Eight – Ranchore Lines, Preedy & Napier Quarters”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

HF (1994) “National Register: Historic Places of Pakistan; Karachi Document Two - Karachi's Serai Quarter”, Karachi, Heritage Foundation.

Presentation to Heritage Committee, GoS, (Feb. 2010, Nov. 2011) (PDF)  

   
 
 
 
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