What Is, What Could Be, What Should Be

Hyderabad is home to the glorious monument of Charminar. The monument itself is an important piece of history, culture, architecture and tourism. The neighborhood around it is another story all together…

It never fails to surprise us how neighborhoods around key national monuments and tourist attractions in India are often in contrast to what one would expect. You might think that these neighborhoods would benefit from the regular footfall of tourists. But you’d be wrong. Charminar is much like many of India’s urban monuments in that the neighborhood around Charminar is in a state of neglect.

This is because historic centers in India are losing popularity with local residents as places to live and do business, and are thus increasingly becoming areas of poverty, wholesale trade, storage and warehousing. It breaks our hearts every time we find a beautiful building that is boarded up and is being used for storage and the people in the neighborhood living in overcrowded conditions with poor sanitation and pollution.

Spicy chana chaat on the street

Spicy chana chaat on the street

The neighborhood around Charminar is another reason why there is an immediate need to evolve business models through public and private participation that address the complex issues presented by such historic neighborhoods of historic preservation, tourism development, affordable housing, public place making and infrastructure development.

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