Residential neighbourhoods in Kathmandu: Key design guidelines

Shrestha, B. K.

Shrestha, B. K. (2013). Residential neighbourhoods in Kathmandu: Key design guidelines. Urbani izziv, 24(1), 125⁠–143.

community , design guidelines , Kathmandu , residential neighbourhood , socio-cultural environment

Residential neighbourhoods developed using various techniques in Kathmandu by both the public and private sectors have not only provided a poor urban setting and failed to address socio‑cultural needs, but are also poor at building a community and creating links to the built environment, with the result that the planned areas lack a sense of place and the inhabitants lack a feeling of home. Although traditional neighbourhoods in the historic core area had many features of a good residential neighbourhood in the past, they are currently undergoing rapid destruction. The residents of these neighbourhoods have little awareness of these issues. The existing legal and institutional frameworks are inadequate and ineffective and cannot address these problems, and so the formulation of design guidelines, their strict implementation, and enhancement of socio‑cultural events including social networking are recommended for future residential neighbourhood development.

Main finding
Among the neighborhoods studied, the author found issues with poor block integration with the surrounding street grid, conflicts between cars and pedestrians, a lack of social institutions, few and poor public spaces, and few street amenities that have limited social interaction and sense of place. He argues that the current legal and institutional structures have failed to create safe and vibrant neighborhoods, and suggests that strict design guidelines be drafted and socio-cultural events be held to help improve the physical and social aspects of the neighborhoods.

Description of method used in the article
Four residential precincts of Kathmandu all planned and developed under different models and circumstances were comparatively studied: the Kuleshwor Housing Project, the Gongabu Land-Pooling Project, the Sun Rise Home, and the Manjushree Tole. The author observed various socio-cultural activities at all four neighborhoods, conducted a survey of twenty-five residents in each neighborhood, and interviewed government officials and staff at municipal and ward offices and local social institutions. The surveys had a response rate of 90⁠–100%.

Of practical use

Organising categories