Delhi has more layers of culture, civilization, history and built fabric extant in it than any other city in the world.
It cradled and nurtured seven cities, and was built and rebuilt to meet the demands of different emperors and the people of each of those times.
It is the enthralling and enigmatic feature of this ancient modern city, that Delhi today, is a complex agglomeration of built fabric which exist as evidence in the form of layers of various historic time periods.
These layers can be easily distinguished on the basis of their design, construction techniques, materials and architectural elements that add diversity to the basic typology.
These range from domes, brackets, chhajjas, columns, plinths, finishes, etc.
However, the development scenario in the post-Independence period adversely affected the historical areas as well as several heritage sites.
It also diluted the ambience of the city. Therefore, DDA, widened its role to not only meet the challenges of development, but to also preserve and protect the different facets
of the city's personality.
Though the Archaeological Survey of India has been entrusted with the preservation and protection of known monuments, DDA, in
order to protect the Urban Heritage of Delhi, started a search for hitherto unknown areas of historical importance.
Then, in December 1993, DDA instituted the Urban Heritage Awards to encourage Delhites to appreciate, preserve, and take pride in the historically rich traditions and unique buildings of the city of Delhi.
The awards recognize and honour individuals or institutions which have conserved old buildings of their time, thereby enhancing the beauty of the city.
They are decided by a jury comprising of eminent citizens of Delhi, Administrators, Town Planners, and Conservationists.
DDA has so far awarded / commended 17 buildings which reflect their architectural images, social values, and traditions of their time, and are well maintained.