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Urbanization in context of Nepal By: Amit Pokharel Civil Engineer Postgraduate student of Urban design and Conservation Khwopa Engineering College Libali, Bhaktapur Nepal E-Mail: Statuary Publication: This document is the sole publication of the Author. Any misuse and the mis-interpretation of this document by anyone, author does not take the responsibility for the same.

Urbanization defination An increase in a population in cities and towns versus rural areas. Urbanization began during the industrial revolution, when workers moved towards manufacturing hubs in cities to obtain jobs in factories as agricultural jobs became few in common. Urbanization is not merely a modern phenomenon, but a rapid and historic transformation of human social roots on a global scale, whereby predominantly rural culture is being replaced by urban culture. Urbanization can describe a specific condition at a set time, i.e. the proportion of total population or area in cities or towns, or the term can describe the increase of this proportion over time.

Urbanization • Urbanization in context of Nepal is defined as the: change in urban growth and cities form. • The transformation of rural area (or hinterland or fringes) into urban form which links with transportation to grow into cities.

• Urban growth: economy and population density

A city scape of Kathmandu

Benefits of Urbanization Supply of basic amenities and facilities Improvement in the economy Better living conditions Convenience and access to educational, health, services and jobs • Social integration/diversity • Political concentration focussed in case of Nepal • • • •

Urbanization in Nepal • Nepal’s urban areas have the potential to drive economic growth to the benefit of the entire country. From the ancient hill towns in the west to the compact historic city cores of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal’s urban settlements are rich in cultural heritage and located amid unparalleled natural beauty. • The intangible heritage that flourishes in the cities – art, music, dance and elaborate public celebrations and religious observances – add vitality and meaning to the built heritage and urban fabric. The conservation of this unique heritage, both tangible and intangible, can be a catalyst for urban revitalization by preserving city livability, and creating a wide range of income-earning opportunities.

As Nepal’s most important heritage destination and main gateway to the country, the Kathmandu Valley has the potential to become a world-class tourism destination.

Cities, in particular those in the valley, are important centers for developing and promoting Nepal’s handicrafts, because they are the places where many artisans create and produce and the natural locations of wholesalers and retailers.

Trend of Urbanization in Nepal • Urbanization is an essential part of economic growth, social and political change, technical and scientific advances and progress in various areas. Urbanized settlement or the cities are probably the most complex settlements evolved from primitive villages to towns, then to the cities. • The origin of urban settlements in Nepal is obscure. Very little is known about urban living in Nepal during the period of Kirants.The historical evidences on the existence of towns in the Kathmandu valley are found only for the Lichhavis period (100 BC to 1000 AD). By the eleventh century, three principle settlements in the Kathmandu valley had already started to be referred to as capital towns.

• After 1769, Kathmandu became the capital of unified Nepal as well as the seat of political, economic and social power. Outside the Kathmandu valley, many new settlements were developed. The spread of Newar traders and small manufactures from Kathmandu during the later half of the nineteenth century further contributed to the physical and economic growth of a number of settlements in the hills. • Political, demographic and climatic reasons discouraged the growth of large permanent settlements in Terai until 1920. The trade treaty of 1923 between Nepal and British-India has made positive impact on the growth of urban centers in Terai. The industrial development that took place in Terai during 1930s further enhanced the importance of southern towns.

The political change of 1951 had significant impact on the urban growth in Nepal. The country was opened to the outside world, transplantation of new ideas, and country’s development plans were commenced. The country was divided into development regions. The development activities, most of which through foreign assistance, resulted the dramatic change in the growth of towns and urban centers in Nepal. The initiation of malaria eradication programme and the resettlement programme in the late 1950s created the frame work for a long-scale migration of hill people to the Terai. HillTerai migration due to rich agricultural base in the Terai, increase in the volume of trade with India, expansion of the state bureaucracy, and the creation of physical infrastructure contributed to the urban growth and urbanization in Terai after 1951.

• In Nepal, migration and urbanization tend to be perceived as negative phenomena and the wrong approach to development therefore the Government of Nepal has discouraged and restrained migration to urban areas and left processes of urban migration and urbanization largely to the spontaneous response of population movements and adjustments. •

It is the absence of a comprehensive national human settlements policy, particularly an urbanization policy, that has prevented the promotion, facilitation and management of migration and urbanization in Nepal. Officially, the Government of Nepal has declared 58 urban and semi urban areas as municipal areas: 53 of them being municipalités, 4 submetropolis and 1 metropolis. According to Portnov et. al. “Currently, 58 municipalities in Nepal qualify as urban centers.

Image of Biratnagar

Image of Durbar marga, Kathmandu

Challenges of Urbanization • • • • •

Environmental impacts Unemployment Urban poverty (poor living condition) Criminal activities Original fabric of building will be lost due to physical changes • Directly effect on conservation of nature as well as heritage. • Urban congestion • Rise in market price of service utilities relating to daily life activities

Traffic problems

Environment pollution

Traffci jam

Rise in concrete jungles in cities

Lack of pedestrian


Institutionalizing Community Based Development • Focussed on the improvement of living condition • Focussed on the unemployment and improving economic factors • Developing community facilities and services • Improvement in roads and supply

Functional Zones • A Central Business District (CBD) • Shopping areas: Department store and Shopping Mall • A number of shopping centres • Industrial areas • Open space for recreation/and leisure • Fun parks and gardens

The Impact of Community-Based Programs • Generate full and part-time employment for workers • Cost for public utilites is poor • Growth of apprenticeships and skill development program.

• Advance of health programs for children and community. • Decreament in environmental situation

• Greenary area converted into concrete jungles

Latest Improvement in Nepal • Problem solving process and education reform in the community • Construction of apartments and individual homes by real state and builders • Development of facilities for community health and human services • Federal democratic process continuing in country from 2007

Improving Urban areas • In many countries, government have attempted to improve its urban areas, but in context of Nepal, there is a lack of strong policy to plan and develop areas. Though Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), a department under Nepal’s government is trying to improve urban areas and working on it, but here are the two main ways to deal with it. They are: 1. Inner city renewal and redevelopments 2. The planning of new towns preserving historic towns and cities

Urbanization in the developing world • Urbanization is happening rapidly in many parts of the developing world. • People are being ‘pushed’ from rural areas and ‘pulled’ toward the cities. • Every year more and more people arrive to these growing cities in search of a better life for themselves and their children. • Facilites and services for the community and people

Future cities in rapid Urbanization • Rapid urbanization is taking place across the globe. Future Cities will explore the components of a successful city, and will use these discoveries to drive critical planning across all relevant sectors, internationally. • Future Cities will consider the pillars that create the foundation of a Future City: -Security, -Water & Waste Management, -Tourism & Hospitality, -Efficient transport, -Energy Management, -Disaster Relief and Green Building.

• VY7TD7Y/s1600/Urbanization_Animation_Large.gif

• (The above website url shows the World urbanization: % of urban population and agglomeration by size class) • Reference taken to show data how rapid urbanization is taking place.

Greenary preserving in rapid urbanization

New designs preserving greenary structures

Development of 2nd International airport at Mattala

Victory Garden

A city image of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Monument conservation in rapid urbanization • Traditional fabric and environment are being seriously effected by new buildings. • Extreme development pressure • Lack of conservation oriented planning in this rapid phase of urbanization • Inefficiency management of concerned authorities • Lack of public awareness • No proper implementation of laws/violation of laws and bylaws

Legal and Institutional Framework • The design of urban cities and their management should be viewed from a broader perspective within the framework of urban design and building construction, urban transport, landuse and housing density. However this is not apparent in the current legal and institutional framework. • Numerous government institution responsible for urban development have overlapping jurisdiction and are working with little coordination and cooperation. However it is not clear who is responsible for planning, desigining and managing. • The absence of a clear government policy on land development and infrastructure provision, urban design and building construction and physical planning & works as well as lack of trained manpower, have reduced the scope of urban planning and desigining of cities

Legal and Institutional Framework • Lack of strong policy and guidelines to preserve the historical and traditional towns and cities of Nepal. • In Nepal, the DUDBC (Department of urban design and building construction) is a acting body for urban planning but still no sign of desigining a new cities with planning as well as design concept. It only focus to plan for the government buildings. • In developing countries, there is everything planned before making structures but in Nepal haphazards planning. No proper planning in services and facilities including roads, sewage disposal and drain, watersupply, electricity, sewer lines, and other infrastructure development.

• No update in Cadastral map, lack of Master Plan • Failure to understand what is urbanization actually? • Lack of co-ordination and overlapping of function • Legal and institutional framework is weak, in context of Nepal. • Political interference disturbs mostly in planning and developing sector

Conclusion • The level of urbanization that would be most suitable for a country like Nepal should be delineated. This must take into consideration that poorly urbanized Nepal urgently requires the establishment and rapid expansion of urban functions particularly in hilly and remote areas, a disintegrated primary productionbased economy and a decentralization of development benefits through an integrated spatial development strategy. • Urban planning and desigining, especially land-use planning, is a tool to develop an area in a proper way. Therefore, it needs clear rules and regulations to guide the development. • To establish proper way for planned development, the Central Government will have to carefully examine existing laws and regulations and make them coherent and implementable.

• The government shall pursue a policy of raising the standards of living of the general public through the development of infrastructures as education, health, housing and employment of the people • The “urban governance”, formerly equated with urban management, has come to be understood as both government responsibility and civic engagement. Generally, it refers to the processes by which local urban governments-- in partnership with other public agencies and different segments of civil society—respond effectively to local needs in a participatory, transparent and accountable manner. • As globalization continues, massive future urban growth is both inevitable and necessary, but the way it grows will make all the difference. Cities need a longer-term strategy for expected change.

References The urbanization trends, Michael. Howard Cities and life, Edward hill Figures/graph and images from World Bank report ( of urban cities Wikipedia Mckansey global institute city scope 2.0 Time Magazine Managing Asian cities, published by World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision, Website of the United Nations Population Division • • s1600/Urbanization_Animation_Large.gif • An analysis of urban trends, patterns and policies of Nepal, Basnet.P, korea (pp 2-3/ 7-9/ 6-4) • • • • • • • • • •

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Sharma, A. and Maithani, B.P . 1998. Development of small towns in the eastern India (Eastern Himalayas). Paper Presented at the regional consultation meeting on market and small towns in Hindu Kush Himalayas Goldscheider, C. 1983. Urban migrants in developing nations: patterns and problems of adjustment, West view Press, Boulder, Colorado. Kingsley, D. 1965. The urbanization of the human population Rural-urban relations with particular reference to Nepal, Pushkar k. Pradhan UNDP reports on urban settlements UN-HABITAT papers publication at Papers presented by Dr. Bijaya k. Shrestha for linkage of patterns Portnov, B.A., Adhikari, M. And Schwartz, M. 2007. Urban growth in Nepal: does location matter? Urban Studies. 44, 915–937. ETY.html

Urbanization in context of Nepal: Final document