Bhubaneswar: The Fifth International Biennial Conference on “Role of Culture and Heritage in Urban Sustainability” jointly organised by the Government of Orissa, Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation (IHCNF) and UNESCO, New Delhi, will be held in the capital city from February 2.
The three-day international conference will be held at the Infosys Campus here.
The event is being organised in association with Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Orissa 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 will take part in it.
There will be a special Heritage Dialogue Series comprising round table discussion with focus on Orissa. The delegates are also scheduled to take part in a special Ekamra Walks covering the rich Kalingan temple architecture in the Old City area.
“There are three main objectives of the conference. First, it will highlight the linkages between culture, heritage and traditions with the development issues of cities in India and around the world,” a BDA official said.
The conference aims 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 a recent by the government on smart cities.
Last, but not the least, the event will provide a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences and recent advancements made by cities to harness their respective heritage assets for sustainable development, the official added.
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.
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 and Heritage’, ‘Urban Sustainability and Climate Change’, ‘Resilience of Historic Cities’, ‘Sustaining Traditional Communities’ and ‘Livelihood and World Heritage and Cities’.