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DFG-Projekt: Urban Heritage and Cultural Governance in the South Asian Megacity Delhi/ India

Principal investigator:Prof. Dr. Frauke Kraas
Contact person:Tine Trumpp (University of Cologne)
Project duration:2013 – 2016
Keywords:Governance, Urban Heritage, Megacity Research, South Asia (India)


The current urbanisation dynamics in South Asia cause massive change in the physical shape of its cities. Rapid population growth, the quest for modernization and processes of commercialisation and commodification apply great pressure especially on megacities and their infrastructure. As a consequence of this change, the architectural heritage of these cities, especially in their central historical areas and city centres, suffer under a great pressure of landuse. Old traditional urban structures seem to be an obstacle on the way towards a globalised modernisation, at least in the perception of some of the decision-makers involved. Consisting land use rights of the established (local) owners and inhabitants are being altered more and more to cater the needs and development visions of new stakeholders. That leads to increasing decay and loss of urban heritage which, in its historical and cultural function, makes a vital contribution to the social and societal identity of a city. Furthermore, it has both a significant economical as well as an aesthetical influence on the competitiveness of cities on a national as well as an international scale.

Objectives of the research project

Using the example of the megacity Delhi/ India, this research project aims at investigating the opportunities and potentials the integration of urban heritage offers to the future city development. Furthermore, the role of the governance-system in this context will be analysed. Which factors influence this system and how do they affect the options of the involved stakeholders as well as the preservation and the integration of urban heritage into urban planning? In order to find answers to these questions, an actor-oriented and action-based analysis of the governance-structure will be carried out. The underlying approach will be explorative and qualitative using cultural governance as a theoretical framework.