Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

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The Historic Cities Programme (HCP) of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)] promotes the conservation and re-use of buildings and public spaces in historic cities of the Muslim World. HCP undertakes the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures and public spaces in ways that can spur social, economic and cultural development. Individual projects go beyond technical restoration to address the questions of the social and environmental context, adaptive reuse, institutional sustainability and training. In several countries, local Aga Khan Cultural Service companies have been formed to implement projects under the supervision of the HCSP headquarters in Geneva.

Role of the HCP[edit]

The HCP works closely with all project stakeholders, including the community. The Programme is able to provide planning assistance to government and local conservation bodies. It provides technical expertise and can help to secure funding and resources by defining opportunities and approaches, preparing feasibility studies, and shaping proposals for submission to local investors and international agencies.

It also participates in urban conservation and development efforts that focus on building clusters, public spaces between and around buildings, a district, or a historic town. These projects aim to restore and maintain the socioeconomic and cultural fabric of the designated area. The Programme also engages in restoring specific historic sites and buildings that include elements of urban landscape or single structures, for which appropriate new functions are developed to meet the social and economic needs of the respective communities.

The Programme is concerned with the long-term viability of its conservation projects and does support associated cultural initiatives in this regard. All enabling development factors – community support, innovative institutional structures, and commercial potential – are harnessed, whenever possible, to make conservation sustainable.

Funding sources[edit]

HCP plans and executes projects with funding from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and other donors. Institutions, such as the Getty Grant Program, World Monuments Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Swiss, Swedish and Norwegian bilateral aid organisations, and the World Bank have sponsored or co-funded HCSP activities. HCSP establishes local service companies as partners in implementation and prepares them for autonomous operation as self-sustaining community organisations.


The Historic Cities Programme has been involved in nearly twenty distinct revitalisation projects in Afghanistan, the Northern Areas of Pakistan, Zanzibar, Samarkand, Cairo, Mostar (Bosnia), Mali and Syria. In all project locations, community participation, training of local professionals and local institution-building are essential components.

Awards and recognition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Revitalisation of the Gardens of Emperor Humayun's Tomb, Delhi, India" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on May 11, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Conservation and Development in Hunza and Baltistan" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on May 9, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Zanzibar Stone Town Projects" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on October 21, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The Azhar Park Project in Cairo and the Conservation and Revitalisation of Darb al-Ahmar". Archived from the original on November 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Conservation and Revitalisation of Historic Mostar" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on December 6, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Shigar Fort Palace in Pakistan wins top prize in the 2006 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards" (PDF). UNESCO Bangkok,. September 1, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Shigar Fort Awarded Top Prize in the 2006 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards". AKDN. September 1, 2006. Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  8. ^ "PATA Announces 2006 Gold Awards Winners". Archived from the original on September 24, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Press Release: 2005 UNESCO Heritage Awards – UNESCO Bangkok, September 1, 2005" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  10. ^ Baker, Aryn (2005-04-07). "Best of Asia: Baltit Fort Hunza Valley, Pakistan". Time. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  11. ^ "Innovation – T+L 2005 Global Vision Awards". Archived from the original on December 1, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  12. ^ "Baltit Fort Awarded Top Prize in the UNESCO 2004 Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards" (PDF). UNESCO Bangkok,. September 1, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-11. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Press Release: 2003 UNESCO Heritage Awards" (PDF). UNESCO Bangkok. August 25, 2003. Retrieved 2006-12-11. [dead link]
  14. ^ "2002 Heritage Awards Winning Entries" (PDF). UNESCO Bangkok. September 19, 2002. Retrieved 2006-12-11. [dead link]
  15. ^ "BA Tourism for Tomorrow Previous Winners" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  16. ^ "Restoration of Landmark Buildings in Mountainous Northern Pakistan – AKDN". Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 


External links[edit]