This is a chance to look at the various challenges facing old cities in India and evaluate if heritage conservation and development can go hand-in-hand.
On Saturday, the 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad was recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site, making it the first Indian city to earn that tag. The old city or the walled city of Ahmedabad is spread across 5.35 sq km and is home to havelis, old markets, historic housing clusters and shrines.
There is much to celebrate about the UNESCO tag. For one, expanding the heritage conservation discourse to cities rather than monuments alone brings hope that more attention will be directed to the infrastructure problems faced by these cities. This is good news for many other historic Indian cities, such as Varanasi, Agra, Lucknow, Hyderabad or Madurai as well.