Historic Cities Support Programme (Formerly known as)
Breathing new life into the legacy of past civilisations calls for a creativity, imagination, tolerance, understanding, and wisdom well beyond the ordinary. The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), established in 1992, implements conservation, urban revitalization and area development projects in historically significant sites of the Islamic world undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures and public spaces in ways that spur social, economic and cultural development. Its projects seek to mobilize local potential and resources in order to ensure their eventual self-sustainability through operational income, human resource development and institutional management capabilities. Through this integrated approach, the Programme seeks to demonstrate that strengthening cultural identity can go hand in hand with socio-economic progress.
Going beyond mere restoration of monuments, the Programme engages in activities related to adaptive re-use, contextual urban planning and the improvement of housing, infrastructure and public spaces. It carries out related socio-economic development initiatives directed at upgrading local living conditions and improving quality of life.
Investments in single project locations or regions are coordinated with other Aga Khan Development Network programmes so that they reinforce each other as they grow together into a critical mass for positive change. In all project locations, community participation and training of local professionals are essential components.
The small mosque of Sedukan retains the characteristic form of nineteenth century community mosques in the old city, with a colonnaded summer prayer area built above a ground floor mosque and traditional underfloor heating, for use in winter. Constructed of mud brick with a flat timber roof supported on two rows of decorated timber posts, the mosque was in poor condition at the time of surveys in 2003. The conservation work has enabled detailed documentation -- especially important in the case of the carved hardwood on the posts -- to take place, while it has also offered craftsmen the opportunity to develop their skills in repairing moulded plaster and carved timber decoration.