Street typology in Kathmandu and street transformation

Type Journal Article - Urbani izziv
Title Street typology in Kathmandu and street transformation
Volume 22
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 107-121
The lively and pedestrian-friendly streets of the Malla
period and the unique streetscape of the Rana period,
including streets in planned and haphazardly developed
areas, are being rapidly transformed due to unman-
aged urban growth, chaotic construction and a growing
number of vehicles in Kathmandu. This has destroyed
the physical form, reduced social activities, increased ac-
cidents and decreased pedestrian comfort on all types of
streets. These negative consequences cannot be addressed
through the existing legal and institutional frameworks of
the urban-development and traffic-management authori-
ties. Even recent street improvements have discouraged
pedestrian movement, degraded the streetscape and re-
placed public spaces with traffic. This has further con-
gested pedestrians and traffic in areas that were already
crowded. To reverse this trend and to enhance the quali-
ties of traditional streets of Kathmandu, a threefold urban
design strategy is essential. This will decentralise business
activities from urban centres, improve transitional spaces
between streets (and sidewalks) and ground-floor activi-
ties of buildings on both sides of the streets, and strictly
enforce traffic management, all supported by flexible de-
sign guidelines, incentives and consensus among various

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