'Sarwajanik Sthal: Sarokar ra Sambadh’

The participants addressed the issues relating to transformations of public spaces in the Kathmandu Valley. The session was led by IMAP Researcher, Shiva Rijal, and began with a presentation on the historical background of the trend of adaptation of public spaces in different eras, which varied with the socio-politics of the nation. He argued that the deteriorating condition of public spaces today is a result of lack of understanding for their need in the urban policy and plans. The discussion group was well attended by professionals from various disciplines.

It highlighted information on numerous public spaces that have disappeared and changed in the past 40-50 years of urban growth. Satya Mohan Joshi’s frequently used phrase ‘Herda-Herdai’ and Dr Bharat Sharma's 'Twal-Twal', expressed their experience while witnessing the changes of Kathmandu from a beautiful and serene city to a chaotic commercial metropolis.

Guests from the Department of Archaeology and UNESCO (Saubhagya Pradhananga and Nabha Basnyat Thapa respectively) confessed that despite their focus on conservation of cultural-historical places, they confessed that they had not pursued the issue of public space. 

Lastly, it was agreed that practical tools and modes of communication are required to bring about awareness and constructive public dialogue on public spaces. It was also suggested that government and non-government institutions organise discussions and produce solutions to address issues related to public space in the Kathmandu Valley.