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'Public communication must for heritage-led development'

Written by: Staff
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Mysore, June 5 (UNI) Union Urban Development Secretary Anil Baijal today advocated the need to underpin the entire strategy for heritage-led development with a strong public communication programme and a continuous dialogue with all sections of the urban society in the country.

Inaugurating a national conference on heritage cities, organised by the Union Urban Development Ministry and the Mysore City Corporation here, he said it was also necessary to build informed public opinion in support of the strategy, particularly in view of the cost involved in preservation of heritage. Apart from the expenditure for restoration of monuments and recreation of heritage, attendant restructions on construction, pedestrianisation of street spaces and pricing of hitherto freely accessible resources could lead to initial resistance from the community, he opined.

Mr Baijal said heritage conservation was often seen as a luxury that only the elite could afford and hence it had to be demonstrated and articulated repeatedly that it made economic sense for the less affluent sections also. ''Therefore, it is necessary for the city administrations to appreciate that heritage management can be merely an aesthetic and conservation-driven static development paradigm.

Rather it has to be a vibrant, commercially sustainable and growth-driven phenomena, which utilises the heritage value of the city without destroying its essence. In brief, what is required is to integrate economic and aesthetic concerns and create a holistic, sustainable and inclusive model for the development of the city by exploiting its heritage assets.'' MORE UNI BSP GD GM1718

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