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Study on appropriateness between new development and conservation for Bow Barracks housing in Kolkata

Shivashish Bose (Department of Architecture, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 16 March 2020

Issue publication date: 15 June 2020



In the rapidly urbanizing Indian cities, large buildings are being built demolishing old buildings often with historic, cultural and architectural merit bringing the conflict between development and conservation. In Kolkata, the authority has taken a unilateral decision to construct high-rise buildings demolishing a hundred-year old Bow Barracks housing complex. The purpose of this paper is to present a research study that empirically explored the appropriateness of the policy decision and a recommendation for appropriate development based on the research result.


The design of the research is formulated on the survey method that encompasses observation, interview and collection of data through questionnaire, and survey, documentation and testing of architecture. All findings are analysed; research question and hypothesis are tested with validation.


The research has found that the old housing is of cultural heritage and use value, and the inhabitants are a very special community in Kolkata. The new development proposal in terms of space generation and cost involvement over the benefit of conserving the existing housing is not beneficial. Therefore, the decision of the local body, in terms of value for money, architecture, culture, heritage and sustainability is not proper.


Such a research exploring the benefit between development and conservation for choice of appropriate path of development in managing the development of a city in global south stands for its uniqueness.



The author acknowledges the contribution of Ms. Kanupriya Goel in this research.


Bose, S. (2020), "Study on appropriateness between new development and conservation for Bow Barracks housing in Kolkata", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 293-315.



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