The pandemic response is part of AKTC’s ongoing Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, which, over the last ten years, has led to the conservation of 60 monuments, the landscaping of 200 acres of green space and a socio-economic development programme benefiting a community of 20,000.

It all started in 1997, when His Highness the Aga Khan gifted the garden restoration of the Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage Site. Following the garden restoration, visitor numbers rose ten-fold. In 2007, AKTC returned to the Humayun’s Tomb – Sunder Nursery – Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti area of Delhi to implement an Urban Conservation project spread across 300 acres in the heart of New Delhi, with a needy resident population of over 20,000.

AKTC brought a “craft based” approach to conservation. Over the past decade, almost one million man-days of work by master craftsmen has been undertaken on over 60 monuments in the area, including at Humayun’s Tomb itself. Stone-carvers, masons, glazed tile makers from the local community, carpenters, ironsmiths have used tools, materials, and revived building craft techniques to match the work of the original builders of these monuments. With the grandeur of the Tomb restored, AKTC moved on to help create a sustainable tourism destination that will continue to attract visitors for decades.