Heritage in urban sustainability to be focus in 5th IHCNF international biennial conference

Bhubaneswar: Fifth International Biennial Conference on “Role of Culture and Heritage in Urban Sustainability’’ will be held in city from February 2 – 4, jointly organised by the Government of Odisha, Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation (IHCNF) and UNESCO, New Delhi.

The City of Bhubaneshwar known for its unique cultural identity and heritage has come forward to host from 2nd-4th February 2018 at Infosys Campus, Infocity, Patia, Bhubaneshwar.

The event is being organised in association with Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Odisha Tourism, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Culture, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and KIIT University.

With the influence of urban development on the heritage and meaningful planning complementing each other with sustainable co-habitation, this conference is of immense importance as planners, artists, international heritage conservation experts, performers and people from various walks of life are going to take part in the three-day conference. There will be a special Heritage Dialogue Series comprising Round Table discussion with focus on Odisha. The delegates are also scheduled to take part in a special Ekamra Walks covering the rich Kalingan temple architecture in Old City area.

The main objectives of the conference are:

To highlight the linkages between culture, heritage and traditions with the development issues of cities in India and around the world;

To highlight the recognition of heritage as an asset- tangible, intangible and living heritage for socio economic development, preserving the urban identity and environment, attracting activities and visitors as demonstrated in schemes launched in the recent past by the government such as Smart Cities;

To exchange knowledge and experiences and recent advancements made by cities to harness their heritage assets for sustainable development;

The event will encourage building partnerships between cities, institutions as well as professionals for mutual benefit and sharing of experience in the field of Culture and Heritage based sustainable urban development.

Cities are hubs for intellectual, cultural, social and economic development. To make cities sustainable, issues pertaining to urban planning, transport systems, water, sanitation, waste management, cultural heritage, livelihood generation, disaster risk reduction, access to information, education and capacity-building are all relevant for ensuring sustainable urban development and good living condition for its people.

Current dialogues on sustainability not only consider this as an environmental concern, but also encompass socio-economic, political and social dimensions as well. In contrast, the cultural dimension of development is still not valued for its importance within society and it had been absent from the sustainable development debate for long, despite acknowledgment of its importance to societies. This however changed with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which has laid down an ambitious, universal agenda for creating a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world. The challenge, however, is to now demonstrate that the city’s heritage has a significant role in ensuring the social and economic development and their sustainability.

Considering this, this international conference on the theme of ‘Role of Culture & Heritage in Urban sustainability’ is meant to highlight the role of culture and heritage in realizing sustainable urban development. Culture is shown as a key tool for promoting sustainable urban development, by preserving the urban identity and the environment, attracting activities and visitors, improving the resilience of historic urban centres to climate change factors and fostering the development of the creative economy and of the quality of life.

This conference will explore themes relevant to current trends and concerns addressing heritage in India’s urban scenario as well as around the world such as: Smart City & Heritage, Urban Sustainability and Climate Change, Resilience of Historic cities, Sustaining Traditional Communities and Livelihood and World Heritage and Cities.


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