Urban Planning

Govind Prashad Dhakal's picture

Policy and Practice of Urban Planning in Nepal: A Case of Public Community Participation

Modern urban planning practices began in Nepal after 1950, when the country was freed from the clutches of the age-old feudocracy of the Ranas. The initiative for urban planning practices were undertaken with the support of the United Nations when it, under the request of the Government of Nepal, sent three people to sketch the urban policy, urban planning and urban rules and regulations. Since then, Nepal passed through different policies and planning phases for urban development, the planning of urban areas has remained one of the low key areas till date. As a result, unplanned growth of the major cities of Nepal with haphazardly built urban infrastructures having negative consequences on urban environment can be seen in the form of clumsiness, crowding and congestion, absence of security measures and lack of neighborhood continuum. In the absence of the government’s visionary intervention with an integrated plan for urban land management and development has now created difficulties in making cities well circulated and livable. To overcome this sorry state, the government, from the 10th five year plan, has begun a policy and plan for land development with the concept of site and service and land pooling system with the partnership of the land owners so that the city’s bad shape could be changed to a minimum functional city specifically for Kathmandu Valley. Under this policy plan, the government, under the banner of Town Development Committees has been engaged in planning for better urban areas. Some projects have already been completed and some more are gaining ground. So, this paper aims to examine the urban policy initiations by the government of Nepal and their implications in urban planning, and has taken a case to see how the present practice of urban planning under the strategy of community (land owners) participation is continuing. Today, the question is how to resolve the conflict that arises from the public consumer participation and what major implications of such practices would be in reform and management of urban areas. Basically, the paper has been based on the secondary sources of information, however, some discussion with officials and the stakeholders have also been undertaken so as to understand the problems and their effect on planning. To chop a tree quickly, spend twice the time sharpening your axe. Chinese proverb
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