Rawalpindi, Pakistan


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Short description

Rawalpindi has been introduced to a ‘common ground’ of local heritage and environment of the city for the first time by implementing the HUL approach and in this way the city found a strong base for the prospective progress in its conservation system.


3,363,911 (2014);

Land area

278 km² (metropolitan level)

Key challenges

No heritage building within the historic city is protected by either federal or provincial antiquities legislation; at City District level no District Officer has responsibility for any aspects of the historic environment; historic built fabric is old, fragile and undermaintained; aggressive land acquisition and construction of inappropriate “shopping plazas” and malls; loss of the valuable multi-faith and cultural diversity; young artisans leave the trade because they cannot make a proper living; spatial changes due to unsympathetic planning decisions.


July 2013 – on-going

Heritage Protection

Environment and Urban Affairs Division, Government of Pakistan

Pakistan Environment Protection Agency

Pakistan National Commision of UNESCO

Main Partners

National College of the Arts, Rawalpindi  [leading partner]

WHITRAP – Shanghai

City District Government Rawalpindi

Main activities

[2013] Initiation of the collaborative work in between WHITRAP and the National College of Arts (NCA)

[2013] Funding by the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust at UNESCO

[2014] Strategic Cooperation Agreement between the District Coordination Office (DCO) of Rawalpindi, the National College of Arts (NCA) in Rawalpindi and WHITRAP in Shanghai

[2014] UNESCO-WHITRAP Pilot Project for HUL in Rawalpindi on Pakistan TV

[2010-2015] WHITRAP Pilot city

[2015] Heritage mappping of Rawalpindi City

Main resources

law-book1 Rawalpindi Historic Urban Landscape Project 2014

open-magazine The HUL Guidebook: A practical guide to UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (2016) 

open-magazine UNESCO Brochure ‘New Life for Historic Cities’ (in Urdu)

open-magazine Qureshi, F. (1994). Conserving Pakistan’s Built Heritage. Karachi, Pakistan: IUCN.

open-magazine Mughal, M. R. (2011). Heritage management and conservation in Pakistan: The British Legacy and Current Perspective. Pakistan Heritage 3, 123-124.

open-magazine Mughal, M. R. (1998). Heritage legislation in Pakistan. The World Heritage Newsletter 16, 2.


Ayesha Pamela Rogers

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