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Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP)

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The Trust's most recent initiative is the Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP). It was established to promote the conservation and re-use of building and public spaces in historic cities in ways that can catalyze social, economic and cultural development. In HCSO's approach, the restoration and rehabilitation of buildings and public spaces cannot be conceived apart from broader processes of community development. Its project briefs go beyond technical restoration to address the questions of re-use and community revitalization. The first project to be completed under this programme was the restoration of the fourteenth century Zafra House in the old Arab quarter of Granada, Spain, now the home for the Centre for Historic Studies of Granada and its Kingdom. It also involved in revitalization projects in four very different settings in the Islamic world: the Old Stone Town of Zanzibar, Baltit Fort in Hunza, Samarkand and Cairo.

On the island of Zanzibar, a HCSP project aimed to link the preservation of the Old Stone Town's unique architectural heritage with the revival of the Zanzibar economy through tourism projects carried out by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. HCSP's efforts in Zanzibar included both the restoration of a landmark building on the seafront, the Old Dispensary, and the production of a conservation and development plan for the Old Stone Town.

The town of Baltit, Hunza in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, is the site of a similar attempt to combine conservation and economic development

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