After years of negligence, Lahore’s historic and cultural treasures are being rescued from further deterioration.
After years of negligence and a lack of serious preservation efforts, the historic buildings and facades of Lahore’s old city are being rescued from further deterioration. The overall jurisdiction of the walled city includes various heritage and historical buildings, including a sacred gurdwara, Hindu temples, and old mosques. There is a population of about 300,000 living within the walled city today. The old city is known for its unique and ancient wooden balconies, temples, gurdwaras, havelis, narrow winding streets, and busy bazaars.
Image Credit: Zareen Muzaffar
Pervaiz Qureshi, a prominent architect, urban planner, and CEO of Unicon Consulting Services based in Lahore, was part of the initial stages of this initiative. “A number of us were of the view that we need to put together a separate entity and organizational structure for the walled city alone so we could focus on the development work that’s going on,” he said. “Ten years ago a movement was picked up and eventually an organization was set up in 2012 which was called the Walled City of Lahore Authority.”
“There were challenges and problems; the character was different because Lahore is an old city with its heritage dating back to thousands of years,” he added. “It’s a city that had been destroyed multiple times and rebuilt at number of occasions. So, there were some unusual set of issues relating to its urban fabric.” In addition to the Walled City of Lahore Authority, Qureshi has also consulted for numerous donor and international agencies like USAID, UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank, and the Agha Khan Foundation.
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