Francesco Siravo is an Italian architect specialised in historic preservation and town planning. Since I99I he has worked for the Historic Cities Support Programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, with projects in Zanzibar, Cairo, Samarkand and Mostar. Previous work includes the preparation of plans for the historical areas of Rome and Urbino, Italy, and for the old town of Lamu, Kenya, as well as consultancies for UNESCO and ICCROM. He has written books, articles and papers on various architectural conservation and town planning subjects, including "Zanzibar: A Plan for the Historic Stone Town" (1996) and "Planning Lamu: Conservation of an East African Seaport" (1986).
Bianca, Stefano & Francesco Siravo. Zanzibar: A Plan for the Historic Stone Town. Geneva: The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 1996.
This publication includes the documentation and proposals prepared for the Conservation Plan. It begins with a review of Zanzibar's urban development and the character of its architecture, then surveys the Stone Town's present condition and looks at the pressures threatening its historic fabric. It ends with a presentation of the plan itself; including land use policies, protective measures, and a series of programs and proposals to improve the town's infrastructure and principal open areas.
The Old Dispensary in Zanzibar was the second major historic building restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The project has since been expanded to the restoration of other landmark buildings and several modest dwellings and caravanserais in the Zanzibar's Stone Town, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In this book an argument is put forth suggesting that growth and new development are not incompatible with the preservation of the Stone Town's old buildings and spaces. On the contrary, they can contribute to protecting the cultural heritage, while improving standards of living and promoting economic activity in Zanzibar's central area. The Conservation Plan provides a framework needed to encourage appropriate development, and foster a living and working environment in the Stone Town that is both attuned to today's requirements and in line with Zanzibar's traditional urban character.