AHMEDABAD: Experts who gathered to discuss the Walled City's bid for a World Heritage City status with visiting ICOMOS expert Dr Adel Farhangi Shabestari, said in unison that the Walled City needs to be transformed into a "happy and vibrant" ecosystem. This they said was important for the progression and well-being of the 604-year-old Ahmedabad and its people. Dr Shabestari, however, voiced concerns over certain portions of the Walled City core that were frequently punctuated with shops, while other portions preserved the old world charm. He also for the first time pointed out, "Though, we call this the Walled City. But how much of the wall is left in the Old City!" Master architect B V Doshi said that the Walled City still preserves it vibrancy and is still an economic hub for Ahmedabad.
Director of Cept University and architect of the Sabarmati riverfront, Bimal Patel, said that in the entire portion of the riverfront that engages the Walled City, he has made sure that there is no concrete barrier between them. Reassuring Dr Shabestari, director of Centre for Heritage Management Debashish Nayak said, "The ethos of the Walled City is intact and that its people still believe in the power of collaboration." Others who were present during the meeting were CHC founder Rajiv Patel, tourism expert Kirti Thakkar, Sunni Waqf Board members, city-based historian Rizwan Kadri and SEWA housing member Lalitha Krishnamurthy.