A Case of Kolhapur 

Gaurish Deshpande | Urban Conservation | KRVIA 2022.

[Re]-Thinking the Cultural Integrities of a Historic Urban Center


Keywords: Urbanization, Historic Urban Landscape, Cultural sustainability, Cultural integrities, community resilience and ecological restoration

The historic urban areas of Indian cities are experiencing higher gentrification and urbanization pressures causing rapid urban transformations. The vulnerable natural resources and livelihood patterns of these historic areas are compromised in the planning process.  The increasing insensitive urban redevelopment is hampering the built character resulting in the cultural disintegration.

There is an utmost need to integrate the cultural dimension in the sustainable development process of such historic areas by utilizing the social, economic and environmental identities of the city.

This thesis intends to examine the workability of dynamic concept of cultural integrities which can precisely cover the larger context of the cultural dimension in sustainable development of a city. This study elaborates on the UNESCO’s recommendation on Historic Urban Landscape framework (2011) applicable for historic cities. 

It highlights the idea of extensive sustainable conservation of the transforming significant cultural heritage of Kolhapur city by evaluating, valuing and structuring the tangible and intangible cultural resources.  It is based on their interlinked social and functional dependencies in order to effectively improvise and strengthen their socio economic values in modern and contemporary living patterns

The significant historic core of Kolhapur city is chosen for this study which comprises of fortified town in the Karveer region and Shri Mahalakshmi temple as a significant pilgrimage center. It briefly explains the conservation of cultural heritage through community participation in order to establish a balanced vision for sensitive urban development around the natural and cultural resources, which play an important role in representing the unique identities of the historic city.