Director’s Message

Message From Chairman, IHCNF

Dr. M Ramachandran

The Indian Heritage Cities Network has traversed a long way since it was initially launched as a UNESCO programme in 2006 to advance the promotion of heritage based sustainable development in India. Today it is emerging as one of the foremost organizations supporting Indian cities in safeguarding and using heritage resources for sustainable urban development through policy directives, capacity building, exchange programmes and technical assistance for various heritage based planning and developmental activities.

IHCNF is first and foremost a network comprising of cities ready to share their experiences, knowledge and best practices to address issues related to historic cities. In order to achieve IHCN’s founding objective I am happy to inform that the cities network has now also been registered as a society namely Heritage Cities Development Society (HCDNS). The cities which are part of this network would work together towards safeguarding and using the city’s heritage resources as the means for achieving sustainable development and cooperate actively to developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society to foster the sustainable use of the unique and diverse urban cultural heritage of India.

As the Ministry of Urban Development insists on heritage being addressed in various city development plans, various Government programmes are building heritage into their regular schemes. This network offers an opportunity for cities to come together to influence framing heritage policies, planning and aiding legislation at State and Central Government levels.

Message From Director And UNESCO Representative

Shigeru Aoyagi

In the face of rapid urbanisation in India, the Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) is a valuable initiative to ensure that protection and conservation of urban heritage is given due recognition in development policy and planning and the technical capacities for heritage management are strengthened. I am proud of IHCN’s journey as a UNESCO programme initiated in 2006 to its establishment as an autonomous registered organisation that is increasingly becoming an important entity in the area of urban heritage.

India’s historic cities and towns are rich in numerous heritage assets including living heritage, both tangible and intangible. The recognition of the fact that these heritage assets can be an important basis for socio-economic development of places is reflected in the schemes launched in the recent past by Ministry of Urban Development like HRIDAY and SMART cities, and the PRASAD and Swadesh Darshan scheme by Ministry of Tourism that focus on infrastructure provision, employment generation, improving accessibility, and sensitive tourism. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 also refer to the protection of natural and cultural heritage as part of its goal for sustainable cities and communities.

With the gradual maturing of the approach towards urban heritage in India, the IHCN as a network of urban local bodies, NGOs, research institutions, and international cities is uniquely placed to play an important role in continuing the momentum for urban heritage conservation and revitalisation in India.


IHCNF got registered as a Trust on 27th March 2009 establishing it as an independent Indian organization. Its secretariat was initially set up in Mysore, Karnataka with the support of Government of Karnataka.

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