The holistic urban revitalization of the historic Nizamuddin Basti community in New Delhi, India, received the Award of Excellence in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation on December 1, 2021. The project also garnered a Special Recognition for Sustainable Development.
The Jury applauded the Nizamuddin Basti project for its “outstanding achievement in placing heritage at the heart of the sustainable development agenda” and noted that “through an innovative People-Public-Private Partnership model, the project overcame major socio-economic challenges and improved health, education and well-being, particularly for women and youth” (UNESCO).
Located in the heart of New Delhi, the Nizamuddin Area comprises the World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb, the vibrant seven centuries old settlement of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti and its surrounding areas of 70 acre Sunder Nursery, in addition to the 16th century Batashewala Tomb-Garden Complex, tomb of 16th century courtier poet Khan I Khanan ‘Rahim’, and the Mughal- period caravanserai of Azimganj Serai. The Urban Renewal project has unified these segregated zones of the conservation area into an urban historic district of considerable cultural significance. The project has successfully integrated conservation, socio-economic development, and environmental development objectives and unified the three segregated sites of Humayun’s Tomb – Sunder Nursery – Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti into a cultural district for the city of New Delhi (AKDN).