At different stages of their modern development, the cities of the Muslim world have recognized their historic centers as endangered heritage sites and worked to protect them. However, it was really in the past two decades, and against an unprecedented scale and pace of urban development, coupled with the introduction of massive metropolitan infrastructures, that public debates about historic cities have made it to the headlines. The debates have also expanded to touch on other aspects of these cities such as their public space and landscapes. The experiences of cities like Cairo and Beirut and the recent uprising in Istanbul around Gezi Park highlight the traumatic impact of the changes that many historic cities are undergoing. They also highlight the urgent need for creating venues for discussion.
The aim of this symposium is to create such a venue. It brings together scholars and experts from the Aga Khan Programs at Harvard and MIT and from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to articulate the main issues in these debates and to chart out possible areas for research and action.
This event marks the tenth anniversary of the Aga Khan Program at the GSD and of Archnet, the online community and resource.
For more information on the symposium and the Aga Khan Program at the GSD, click here.