Hoysala Heritage Region

Integrated Site Management Plan for Sustainable Conservation and Development of Hoysala Heritage Region, Karnataka, India


In partnership with UNESCO and the Government of Karnataka, India, Sustainable Urbanism International is engaged in design and policy interventions in several historic towns in the Hoysala Heritage Region that explore the cultural, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. With a perspective that places have complex ecologies that need to be nurtured and sustained, SUI has expanded the idea of heritage beyond monuments to the intersections of nature, culture, and the built environment. SUI views local knowledges, spatial and building practices, and landscape interpretations of hydrological systems as integral to the cultural landscape of a place. Identifying such “heritage” is a collaborative effort with local residents, also helping recognize livelihood forms, practices, and skills that have been lost. Efforts to revive historic lakes and wells, heritage-sensitive town plans based on built form standards derived from historic neighborhoods, and reviving and adapting traditional construction technologies all integrate heritage conservation with design, development planning, and natural resource management. SUI’s minimalist design and planning interventions are aiming to enhance local economic development, while enabling local populations to express their historically derived placed-based identities.

SUI is involved in a range of studies, policies, and design interventions for historic townships through extensive community and stakeholder consultations. They include sustainable tourism development, redesign of public spaces, adaptive reuse of historic structures, sustainable designs for infrastructure and public facilities, redevelopment of common property resources, design of street signage, renovating the interior of homes, and the design of movable public performance spaces.

  • Proposed land use Masterplans for Belur and Halebeedu sensitive to heritage and tourism.
  • Conservation strategy for Heritage structures and values.
  • Design of identity of Hoysala Heritage Region.
  • Urban design of public places in heritage areas including main market streets.
  • Tourism development strategy at regional, settlement, and heritage structure levels.
  • Design of Tourism facilities.
  • Strategies for protection and presentation of heritage structures (with Civil-Aid Technoclinic).
  • Design of adaptive re-use of heritage office building as a visitor’s center.
  • Design and guidelines for interior design of home-stays in heritage homes.
  • Design and guidelines for adaptive re-use of heritage homes for boutique hotel.
  • Design of sustainable infrastructure services.
  • Landscaping, redevelopment, and conservation of historic water bodies and systems.
  • Design with traditional and local building materials and technologies including earth (with Indian Institute of Science.)
  • Design of landscaping in public places and around heritage structures.
  • Design of signage (with Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.)
  • Design of maps and brochure for tourists (with Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.)
  • Design of model housing areas for high, middle, and low income neighborhoods.




Indian Heritage Passport Program : On the Hoysala Trail in Karnataka, Concept Paper. A monograph for UNESCO and the Government of Karnataka, Department of Kannada and Culture, Information and Tourism, June 2007. With input from Yushi Kawaguchi and Moe Chiba.
View the document (pdf).