Future Cities; Re-imagining Kathmandu. Part 1

S2E1- 10 March 2020

This is the first instalment of 3 part episode Future Cities; Re-imagining Kathmandu where we discuss public spaces, and unmanaged rapid urbanisation of Kathmandu valley. In this part, we speak with researchers and artist regarding environmental design, landscape architect, community involvement and open spaces and its impact on children.

You will also hear short clips from our upcoming contributors Rukshana Kapali and Rohit Ranjitkar in this instalment.


Apekshya Dhungel

Architect, Landscape architect, Action Researcher, PHD Candidate
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Halle (Saale), Germany.

Apekshya current research is on planning open spaces with and for the children in local context of Kathmandu. Her research aims to develop a concept of child friendly spaces in an urban setting together with children in the planning process as well as management.

web- https://archyatra.com/

insta- https://www.instagram.com/arch_yatra/

Image- GIZ

Bina Nikolova

Environmental designer and architect

Bina is a design activist, creative environmental designer with an interdisciplinary approach to dissecting and targeting complex urban areas.

Her passion is expanding the methods through which architectural practices can improve living conditions, bring social and environmental equality, and challenge institutional and governmental bodies to act on the current climatic crisis.


insta- https://www.instagram.com/bina_nik/

Image courtesy Bina

Milan Rai

Multi-disciplinary artist.

Milan works with various mediums like performance, public art installations, and painting to name a few.

Milan is known for his Butterfly Project, and activism regarding environment and pollution. In this episode, we talk about his social practice relating public/open spaces, and issues around urbanisation in Kathmandu valley.

He is also a founding member of Vriksha Foundation.

web- http://milanrai.art/

insta https://www.instagram.com/milan_rai5/

Image- Sanoj Byanjankar



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Note- This episodes are by no means or not even close to a definitive assessment of current situation in Kathmandu valley
and does not seek to be one; they are merely random glimpses. 

Few images of stuffs we covered in this part 1

Collage of pocketpark recently completed in Lalitpur, opposite to Alka Hospital. Artist Milan Rai representing Vriksha Foundation, in collaboration with Lalitpur Metroploitan City, WWF Nepal, and A for Architecture realised this project and opened its space to public on 1 March 2020. According to Milan, children are loving this space already and people are stopping by randomly to enjoy the space. Visit Milan’s website in above link for more information.
Image- Milan rai
Participatory Design by involving communities to co-design their park in Sanepa, Shanta Bhawan. According to Milan, he and Vriksha Foundation team facilitated the dialogues and now is being taken further by the community.
Image- Milan Rai

snapshots from Apekshya’s research

btw, this is the book Apekshya talks about in the podcast, unfortunately no free versions in the internet, so… 🤷‍♂️

City sprawl vs managed high rise

Read the full article here https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248151171_Transit_and_Density_Atlanta_the_United_States_and_Western_Europe

Thanks to Bishwo Shahi and Milan Rai for providing field recording.

Antariksa is Bishwo Shahi in technical support and Subash Thebe Limbu your host and producer.

Further readings and references.

Putting children at the heart of urban planning: a call for actionTim Gill, Adrian Voce, Darell Hammond and Mariana Brussoni https://rethinkingchildhood.com/2019/10/23/child-friendly-cities-urban-planning-action/

Occupy Tundikhel, help democratize the Nepal Army- Sovit Subedi https://www.recordnepal.com/perspective/opinions/occupy-tundikhel-help-democratize-the-nepal-army/

When Kathmandu Was ‘Shangri-La for Electric Vehicles’ by ATUL BHATTARAI https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/08/electric-bus-history-kathmandu-nepal-himalayan-air-pollution/596842/

Kathmandu Population 2020 http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/kathmandu-population/#popData

Our Cities Are Broken. Here’s How Architects Can Fix Them; Urban sprawl and flawed high-rise designs have ravaged cities for decades. What’s the solution?- Paul Keskeys https://architizer.com/blog/inspiration/stories/build-up-or-build-out/

The curse of urban sprawl: how cities grow, and why this has to change. -Mark Swilling https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/12/urban-sprawl-how-cities-grow-change-sustainability-urban-age