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About Us

The Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) was founded as a programme by UNESCO New Delhi Office at an international conference on Indian Cities of Living Heritage in September 2006 at Jaipur, Rajasthan. Established with the endorsement of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, together with 10 Indian cities, several institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and seven French cities as well as the French heritage cities association Association Nationale des Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire (ANVPAH), IHCN has since grown to encompass more than 20 cities, and has gained the support of major Indian and international institutions, NGOs and individuals in the field of urban development, heritage preservation and capacity building.

The rapid urbanization witnessed in recent times in India has accelerated the pace of change in all aspects of life, particularly in urban environments. A majority of Indian cities and towns are exposed to strong extraneous and fast-growing agents of change that disturb the delicate balance that exists between the physical, social, cultural and ecological aspects of the urban settlements. In order to strengthen Indian cities and towns to cope with these changes that threaten to destroy India’s diverse heritage, UNESCO took the initiative to form this national Network. The Indian Heritage Cities Network intends to bring together the representatives of various Indian historic cities and towns on a common platform to discuss their problems and share experiences and good practices for sustainable development and conservation of their unique cultural heritage.


Mission Statement

The Indian Heritage Cities Network shall highlight the Indian city as a Living Cultural Resource; foster the safeguarding and sustainable use of the unique and diverse urban cultural heritage of India; promote the physical, natural and cultural heritage, traditions, crafts and creativity as driving forces for urban development, and the generation of employment for balanced socioeconomic and cultural development.


UNESCO is an intergovernmental organization and normative UN agency, with a mandate for education, information and communication, social and human sciences, natural sciences and culture including architecture, planning and heritage preservation.


UNESCO New Delhi Office is a cluster office for Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and India, promoting international cooperation and functioning as a laboratory of ideas and as a clearinghouse for dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge in all fields of UNESCO’s competence. It also helps the Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields.
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UNESCO New Delhi, through its Culture Sector, maintains the Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) to support Indian cities in their endeavours to safeguard and use heritage resources for sustainable development, through policy advice, capacity building, good practice exchange, awareness raising, technical assistance and the facilitation of partnerships between Indian and European cities and regions





Member Cities