ISLAMABAD, March 7: The World Bank (WB) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), have signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration on the ‘Urban Regeneration of the Walled City of Lahore’.

According to a press release issued here, the MoU completes a partnership of the World Bank, AKDN and the government of Punjab.

It is an important step towards achieving the goals envisaged under the public-private partnership framework agreement between AKTC and the government of Punjab signed in July last year for safeguarding and conserving the unique cultural heritage of the Lahore Walled City. “This is a wonderful example of partnership and the respective programmes will have a significant impact on employment generation and poverty reduction,” the press release said.

The ongoing World Bank funded Punjab Municipal Services Improvement Project (PMSIP) encompasses a cultural heritage component that is helping the government of Punjab undertake preparatory socio-economic and physical documentation surveys; analyses for improved heritage asset management and regulation; and the implementation of a pilot project within the Lahore Walled City which envisages the creation of a heritage trail along the Shahi Guzargah. The pilot is envisaged to test methods and processes by creating a prototype, with the objective of scaling up across the entire Lahore Walled City, as well as other historical centres in the country.

The AKDN brings invaluable experience and expertise in working with historic urban cores, particularly in the Islamic world, through the Aga Khan Historic Cities Support Programme (AKHCP).

Over the last decade, the World Bank has implemented 68 projects worldwide, specifically designed for cultural heritage conservation or with cultural heritage components, totalling more than $782 million in investments.

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