UNESCO Award (Honorable Mention) for Conservation Projects 2002 & “British Airways Global Award for Built Environment”

“UNESCO Award (Honorable Mention) for Conservation Projects 2002” & “British Airways Global Award for Built Environment” for the Jaisalmer streetscape revitalization project:

The project was designed to restore and revitalize two landmark residential streets Dhunda Para and Kotri Para, within the historic fort of Jaisalmer. The project was undertaken by ‘Jaisalmer in Jeopardy’ (JiJ) a charity which campaigns to create international awareness and raise funds to conserve Jaisalmer’s heritage.

The main issue in the restoration process was the general decaying of the fort due to the inability of the drainage system to cope with the quantity of water being used. A considerable amount of water was seeping into soils below the fort, leading to the collapse of hundreds of historic structures.

The most direct beneficiary of the project was the local community, with the acquisition of a properly functioning water and sanitation system. Through education workshops the children also benefited, by learning about the importance of good health and hygiene. In addition, the project created much-needed employment opportunities for local residents and raised awareness of the importance and viability of maintaining heritage architecture. Furthermore, through the project’s insistence on traditional methods and materials, there has been an overall aesthetic improvement in the city, greater structural stability and a revival of the traditional building skills of local craftsmen and artisans which were in danger of dying out.