Session 2

session title

The Conservation Challenge

delivered by

  • Chair: Mr Hamdan Majeed, Managing Director from Think City, Malaysia.
  • Framing presentation: delivered by Mr Philip Davies, Chairman of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum
  • Panellists:
    • Ms Sayeda Shahpara Shah, Architect Heritage Foundation of Pakistan and Mr Irshad Ali Sodhar, Deputy Commissioner, South Karachi
    • Ms Bonani Kakkar, President, Public United for Better Living in Calcutta [unfortunately Bonani was taken ill, Philip Davies presented on Bonani’s behalf]
    • Ms Elsie Owusu, Principal, Elsie Owusu Architects
    • Mr Ron Edgar, Principal, FORM Architects, Australia
  • External Voice: Mr Duncan McCallum, Strategy and Listing Director at Historic England.


The aim of this session was to review diverse international examples of heritage-led regeneration, draw together the lessons learned and develop clear recommendations for future action across the Commonwealth. Following a short framing presentation in which Mr Philip Davies, Chairman of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum, drew on successful international examples of heritage-led regeneration, Philip was joined by a panel of discussants and the session concluded with time for question and answers from the audience.

This session was first broadcast on 29 April 2021 and was watched by over 113 participants from over 30 countries. The live recording of this session is available to watch at the top of this webpage.

key messages

  • Mr Philip Davies: Understand the value of what exists before trying to change it.
  • Mr Hamdan Majeed: Prepare an inspiring vision for the future of the heritage.
  • Mr Irshad Sodhar: Listen to the local community. Encourage their active participation.
  • Ms. Sayeda Shahpara Shah: Identify a political champion who can get things done. Enlightened leadership is essential.
  • Mr Duncan McCallum: Create a single strategic delivery agency to co-ordinate action and manage change. 
  • Ms Elsie Owusu: Take a long-term view. Detailed planning and phasing are crucial. 
  • Mr Ron Edgar: Monitor progress, aims and objectives regularly.

links to further information

Commonwealth Heritage Forum
Think City

additional resources

A copy of Mr Philip Davies’ presentation can be found here.
A copy of Ms Sayeda Shahpara Shah’s and Mr Irshad Ali Sodhar’s presentation can be found here.
The video of Denso Hall Rahguar can be found here.
A copy of Ron Edgar’s presentation can be found here.