Threats to the spirit of the place: Urban Space and Squares, Historic City Core, Kathmandu

Rai, Ruprama (2008) Threats to the spirit of the place: Urban Space and Squares, Historic City Core, Kathmandu. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

The historic city core of Kathmandu consists of unique arts and architecture amidst vibrant culture, tradition and ritual practices. Its traditional compact planning is interrupted by spaces endowed with special character that they are testimony to existence and development of the spirit. But today, this spirit is missing due to its deteriorating spatial quality. There are many interlinked threats to the spirit of the space which lead to abandonment, loss of cultural heritage and sustainable practices. They eventually give rise to modernization trends which are inappropriate and incompatible. If not regulated in time, they will cause irreversible damage to the inherent spirit. At present, the focus of historic space is largely on monuments and houses but what traditional urban space needs is proper management of its uses relative to its values and time. For this, competent management and clear legal framework are required to regulate emerging challenges. Therefore, public participation, strengthening of institutional capacity and public awareness programs based on indigenous values shall be encouraged. Thereby, the traditional values are preserved and enhanced for contemporary needs and as well as for posterity. This research is based on urban space along axis linking squares of different hierarchy and accessibility, with Kathmandu Palace Square Monument Zone at the centre. The methodology consists of both theoretical and empirical findings through literature reviews, site surveys and interaction with local people and authorities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Rai, Ruprama
Languages: English
Keywords: historic town centres; urban growth; uses; conflicts; heritage at risk; urban development; urban space; spirit of place; World Heritage List
Subjects: D.URBANISM > 03. Town and country planning
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
G.DETERIORATION > 02. Causes of deterioration
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 13. Historic town centres
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Kathmandu, Nepal
UNESCO WHC Number: 121
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2010 11:47
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:13

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