Jaipur Virasat Foundation
Heritage Conservation, Urban Design
World Monument Fund and experts
BUILT UP AREA:
SpaceMatters undertook the management of a pilot project in a small dilapidated, contained portion of the walled city of Jaipur where facades and squares of the street were to be renovated and restored using an appropriate mix of traditional and modern technologies. Though small in scale, the project was grand for the many stakeholders involved. It was promoted under the umbrella of the renowned Literature Festival through JVF, as a strategy to link progress and heritage conservation in a sustainable and desirable development paradigm, that sought to establish Jaipur as a contemporary tourism destination and historic city.
The project included restoration of facades of selected buildings using where appropriate, traditional finishes and methods, cleaning and improvements works,setting up systems to maintain the streets and facades involving the community, working with public appropriate authorities to improve urban services such as drainage of rainwater and wastewater, disposal of solid waste and maintenance of the electrical and telecommunication networks.
This was our first experience of working closely with a community and observing how multiple, divergent interests constitute a project ideal. Another positive experience gained was that of working in a team and developing interpersonal skills required to make negotiations possible. On the other hand the project left us with many uneasy questions about the field of conservation, in scope and sustainability.
As project managers, we had to rigorously research and update ourselves about the context - Jaipur, its building traditions and crafts. Fortunately, the confidence and participation of the local inhabitants had already been obtained, through the remarkable efforts of anthropologist Vinod Joshi of JVF, who did the spadework of building a relationship of trust between the local community and project team.