Revitalizing cultural heritage: conservation of Merewether tower and its impact on urban morphology

Qurat - Ul - Ain Rehman, Rafique -Ul - Hassnain Soomro
2019 Built-Environment Sri Lanka  
19 th century Karachi was home to the British occupiers and is therefore, rich in Victorian era architecture. Although most of these buildings are in a bad shape, the Pakistani government is working hard to preserve them. Although the pace of conservation is slow, the mere fact that the work is on going alone is relieving. One such building in consideration in Karachi is the Merewether Tower; a significant cultural heritage structure indeed. Even though this iconic structure is one of the few
more » ... is one of the few that are in a rather good condition, some sources claim that from the inside, it is slowly getting degraded. Once the gateway to the city, it has been forgotten by many although its name is renowned. The objective of this research is to study and analyze the existing conditions of the tower as well as its surroundings, and assess how it can be revitalized in order to improve the morphology of the region. This paper also analyzes how conservation of a cultural heritage structure can enhance the urban character of a given place, and how it can link up with the communities that in turn, interact with it. The research methodologies adopted are qualitative; case studies, literature review, field research and interviews from stakeholders. This research attempts to develop a methodology for revitalization and enhancement of urban cultural heritage. The research concludes that development and revitalization of Merewether Tower is essential not only in a beautification and heritage perspective, but also for the commercial development in the locality. A set of immediate improvements are expected to appear in the shortrun after redevelopment, following the intended long-run benefits. Therefore, it is not merely a suggestion but a must for the city. The government needs to be sincere, and the communities and stakeholder need to cooperate for revitalization of this heritage landmark.
doi:10.4038/besl.v13i1.7667 fatcat:6qdmyqweqzb4xflaqwtb4wzy4e