Located in the heart of New Delhi, the Nizamuddin heritage precinct includes the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti area, Sunder Nursery and Humayun’s Tomb – the latter of which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage property in 1993. The restoration of this historic district was launched in 2007 by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), as part of a public-private partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India, the Central Public Works Department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and the Aga Khan Foundation. The conservation of Humayun’s Tomb was completed using the traditional skills of master craftspeople, stone masons and plasterers. In total, 200,000 staff-days of work were required to complete the project. Following consultation with the local community, the AKTC also revitalized the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti’s infrastructure, retrofitted its housing, expanded access to education (building schools and a career development centre, whilst also training heritage guides), improved access to health and sanitation with a new pathology laboratory and toilets, and lauched heritage awareness programmes.
The works resulted in the conservation of over 30 monuments, the creation of a 69 ha city park in the Sundar Nursery - Batashewala Complex, and significant improvements to the quality of life for the residents of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti. Overall, the case of Humayun’s Tomb, the Sunder Nursery and Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti reveals the efficacy of a well-designed public-private partnership for heritage preservation, civil society engagement in urban development, and highlights the ways in which the preservation of heritage sites can serve as catalysts for the revitalization of historic districts.
Source: Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, report for Study Area 5