Patnaik also inaugurated an exhibition of architecture competition at the venue.

Bhubaneswar, Feb 2 Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said emhasis should be given on the preservation of cultural identity and heritage of Bhubaneswar while developing it into a smart city.

The state government has been doing so, besides promoting tourism and best practices in this field while developing Bhubaneswar as a smart city, he said inaugurating the fifth International Biennial Conference organised by the Indian Heritgae Cities Network Foundation, UNESCO and housing and urban development department.

Stating that more cultural sites of Odisha should come into the purview of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, he said "My government is committed towards taking steps towards identifying, preserving and protecting these sites through listing and documentation, preparation of tourism promotion and conservation plans and developing heritage resource management plan."

He said along with development of modern amenities and facilities, the cities should also be vibrant with the socio-cultural life centered on art, craft and heritage. There are several cities in India and abroad where this has been done.

The chief minister said he was hopeful that the conference will be a platform for exchange of ideas and best practices in this field.

Stating that Odisha is known for its rich cultural heritage with Bhubaneswar at the centre stage, Patnaik said the state's Kalingan style of temple architecture, which is seen in places around Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark, dates back to the 7th century A.D and is a great attraction to the people visiting this part of the country.