In a brainstorming session, around 40 students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in US and IIT-Kharagpur discussed on how to convert Bolpur-Shantiniketan into a model and sustainable heritage city. The session was held at the American Centre in Kolkatta on 27th January 2017.
Craig Hall, Consul General from the US presided over the conference. There were 15 students from MIT who were a part of the session. The rest of the students who joined in the conference were from IIT Kharagpur. Moreover, most of them were research scholars as well as students studying masters of architecture and city planning. These students are taking part in a year-long India Practicum Program (2016-2017).
Students who are a part of the project have come with reports on the basis of the data collected from different sources as follows-
- Photo documentation
- Meeting municipal officials
- Artists and painters
- NGOs in Shantiniketan
- Reconnaissance survey and cultural interaction
IIT-Kharagpur's department of Architecture and Regional Planning has joined hands with School of Architecture and Planning of MIT to study urbanisation in a developing world.
Bish Sanyal, MIT Professor said that the project was a joint effort between MIT and IIT. The focus of the same is to devise ways on how to protect historical heritage in a middle-level town plagued by the pressure of economic and population growth.
Sanyal also added further that places like Shantiniketan and Bolpur are facing the threats from different quarters. Now the main issue is how to preserve the cultural and historical heritages of such places. Residents of these places feel that cultural heritage of their town is under threat. MIT will carry on a deeper analysis of the issue within next four months.