The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Hyatt Canberra from Monday 7 November to Wednesday 9 November 2016. This year we have presenters from 7 countries including Australia, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.
Dr Rajjan Chitrakar, Visiting fellow from The Queensland University of Technology will present a discussion on ‘Urban growth, social change and transformation of urban neighbourhoods in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley’.
Following the political change of 1951, Kathmandu Valley, the cultural, economic and political centre of Nepal, has undergone a significant level of both physical and social transformation. The valley has since then witnessed rapid growth of its traditional towns due to the huge influx of people from all over the country. One major consequence of the current urban growth is the changing socio-demographic pattern of contemporary urban neighbourhoods. Although the valley’s traditional neighbourhoods consist of a homogenous population, often belonging to clan relationship and also sharing many common features, the new neighbourhoods show a radical departure.
This paper examines the consequences of the current urban growth on socio-demographic transformation of new neighbourhoods through an assessment of socio-economic profile of households, social networking and neighbourhood organisation. The paper reports on findings from a case study of three new neighbourhoods in the valley, which have been developed over the period of past three decades. Data were collected from household surveys and interviews with the neighbourhood residents. Findings of the study reveal several contrasting features within the new neighbourhoods as compared to the traditional neighbourhoods. The new neighbourhoods are multiethnic and composed of newcomers and thus, the residents have been struggling to organise themselves in a community. The social networking is just beginning to take form, which is largely based on territorial propinquity. New forms of community-based organisations are also emerging in the changing social context. Yet, the formation of the community is slow and less effective in building social networks.
Dr Chitrakar has completed a PhD in Urban Planning from Queensland University of Technology and is now a Visiting Fellow. He has been a sessional academic at QUT since 2012.
For more information on the 9th International Urban Design Conference and to secure your spot please visit the Conference Website.