Ecocity 2008: Sustainable cities

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Sustainable Eco-city
Learning
from
Urban Traditions of Kathmandu Valley
Urban Sustainability
• Town system consists of Society, Settlement and
Nature
– Has a innate tendency to cause distancing from each
other with ‘development’ leading to unsustainabilty
– Has a concentration of people and economic activities
• With material and energy inputs and waste outputs also
dense and concentrated
• In an open continuum with the hinterland ( urban/rural)
• Town needs to be seen
– as a social entity
– as a economic entity
– as a ecological entity in the scheme of Nature
Eco-sustainability of Urban System
• Urban system is not closed, it can’t sustain by itself
– Because of Its resource dependence on ‘hinterland’ (basically for food,
water and energy), whose extent is ever increasing with time!
– Its waste environment that pervades into water, air and land around
(fire/thermal and ether/space also?!)
• In addition to Resource and Waste environments, Urban ecosustainability has to consider
– Socio-cultural environment (understanding and set up for sharing)
• Current as well as Future generations
• Unsustainable urban system DECAYS!
• Urban ecological unsustainability happens when it decays or causes
decay in one or all of its environments
– Physical, Economic or Social > go to urban ecology schema
Urban Culture: Urban Ecology
NATURE:
Physical
Environmental
Chains
ECONOMY:
Resources &
Waste Chains
SOCIETY:
Social set up
for Sharing/
Competition
Urban Decay
• Decay in urban systems occur due to
– Failure of the supporting capacity (a sum total
of resources and regenerative gains)
– Failure of the assimilative/recycling capacity
of Nature (a sum total of waste disposed)
– Failure of distribution of wealth: urban poverty
and social degeneration
– Social order: fragmentation and loss of
community behavior
Lessons of History
• Kathmandu Valley has a long history of
sustained urban settlements
• Kathmandu Valley is almost a closed ecosystem (micro-global character)
• Towns of Kathmandu in History would have also
faced threats of social, economic or physical
unsustainability.
– Review experimentations/technologies in successful
approaches towards sustainability
– Social agreement/ dialogues in urban culture
– Nature and extent of individual/community behavior
over the ‘period of sustenance’
– Social/cultural/human foresight
Kathmandu: Natural Characteristics
• Bowl shaped topography, valley 25 Km
across and 1.5 Km deep on average.
– Lake deposits, high fertility soil
– Rain fed, all rivers originate within the
valley
– Single drain off outlet
• Water and Land sub-systems at Microequilibrium
> go to Valley outline map
Legendary City: MANJUPATTAN
Budanilkantha
Manichur
Jamacho
Ichangu
Narayan
Svayambhu
Kathmandu
Legendary City:
BISHAL NAGAR
HANDIGAON
Guhyeswori
Changu Narayan
PASHUPATINATH
Sankhamul
Patan
Bhadgaon
Chandagiri
Shikhanarayan
Bisankhu
Narayan
Phulchoki
N
Kathmandu: Urban Peculiarities
• 2000 years old tradition of Dense settlements
• Towns as old and continuously Lived-in
– Always located on Higher Grounds within the
Valley > go to Bhaktapur picture
– With a pond at its Higher Level > go to Gahanapokhari picture
– Public Water Supply System of Pit Conduits
– Temples at Street Crossings > go to Nyatapola/Jaisidewal pictures
Cross Roads Marker of Kirat days
from Jaisideval/ Tegvala
Kirat make a start at Urbanism!
• The idea of a Settlement
– Sitting on fallow ground in a fertile valley
– Served by pit conduit water supply system fed by a reservoir
pond at its highest level
– Dense and contained within a defined boundary
– With Cross-road spaces marked for Urban socialization
• Was basically of the Kirats (before 78 CE)
• And Not of the Lichchhavis (78 -879 CE)
– Who came from Gangatic plains with the classic
Vedic/Hindu/Buddhist ideals and know-how of planning
– Riverbank flatland pattern of settlements
– Well system
Eco-urbanism of the Kirat
• Dense and bounded settlements on high ground:
Preservation of economic base/agricultural land
• Integration of nature, economy and society
– Dyochhe, pith and norms of social behavior > go to pics of d/p
• Pith located at ecologically sensitive spot such as Water
holes, Springs, Land humps, Clump of trees
– Divine presence = ecological variance
• Festivals – sharing resources and recognizing the
urban/rural continuum
– Imprint the rules in the minds of people
– Carry the rules over time/ future generations
– Socio-cultural nurturing of the hinterland
> go to schema
Pigan Festivals (Mar-Apr) display Social Agreements on
Natural Ecology and Settlement Economy
&
Ritually Mediate the agreements over space and
generations
A pith: Numinous Stones, Family of Siva
On to 2nd Cultural Period
• Population increases
– Resource base is expanded
– Towns reach out to valley foothills for Water supply sources
– Social/cultural mediation of new ecological realities,
understandings and responsibilities
– Town Festivals extend out to the resource locations.
• Settlements get enlarged
– Andipringga > Bishal Nagar
– X8 to 1 sq. km. in extent
– Lichchhavi image the town as a Vedic microcosm, geometrically
as well as philosophically
– Vaastushastra and Environment of the five elements > go to schema >go
to Lichchhavi pattern >go to Daxinkoligram pattern
Earth
Water
Fire
Air
Ether
Everything consists of
Pancha-tatwa, the five
transformation
modes/elemental
principles. With the sense
(bhuta) of Sound, Touch,
Form, Taste and Smell, the
fifteen characteristic
quality-nature (guna) of
elements are formed – that
is universal (nitya).
… There should be no
tampering of the tatwa
Environment – This has to
be the universal ecological
imperative.
Lichchhavi
Pattern
• Daxinakoligram
• Dandaka pattern
• Ikhapokhari
Jalasayanarayan?
• Onde Narayan
• Ikha Narayan
• Chikanmugal N
• Makhan N
IKHA POKHARI
IKHANARAYAN
JALASAYINARAYAN
CHIKAMUGAL NARAYAN
JAISIDEVAL
HYUMATNARAYAN
ONDENARAYAN
Eco-urbanism: 2nd Cultural Period
• Guthi: a community based management
– Surplus Private wealth as “Public Endowment”
– Community ownership and operation of land
– Community engagement in maintenance of services
• Recognition of water supply as a urban service
–
–
–
–
–
Socio-cultural mediation of urban rural continuum
Closing the ‘urban-hinterland distancing’
Playing out interdependencies
Festivals extend out to sub-regions
Become almost global by 10th century ( eg Matsendranath)
>go to wastewater treatment
Moderating Water Pollution
• Lichchhavis start
septage/waste water
recycling
• The reeds garden
(Natapata vatika of
the Lichchhavis)
south-east outfall and
treatment area
Departures of the 2nd Period
• Imaging the city: visioning
• Surplus private wealth to public service
• Community ownership and operation of
land
• Circular regenerative track:diffusing
concentrative system
• Regulating mechanism spanning current
and future generations: Framing universal
rules/ reaching agreements on values
On to 3rd Cultural Period
• Towns become still larger: Bhaktapur is laid out
for 12000 houses at start of 13th century
– Social heterogeneity of the town increases
• Urban Ecological problem build up
– Economic competitiveness for ‘plenty and surplus’
and disparities in sharing of gains, developing urban
poverty
– Over-exploitation of resources
– Heavy waste generation/little assimilation/ land and
water pollution and towns spilling boundaries
– Further distancing of man from Nature.
– Towns are drier and warmer
Eco-city: 3rd Cultural period
• Development through a Mix of
– Kirat ecological prototype > to schema
– Lichchhavi’s urban planning principles
• Eco-sensitive ritual bounding and structure
– Bounded urban development, Dune and Pine >to schema
– Ritual/Social mediation of Wider urban-rural
continuum (resource base)
– Tole sectorization, homogeneous neighborhood >to schema
Eco-city: 3rd Cultural period
• Responding to 'micro-heat, dry regime & waste
sub-structure’
– Capitalizes positive aspects of 'new nature‘
– Potentially mitigates negative results
• Micro-heat:
–
–
–
–
–
–
High Density/Low rise dev.: warmer micro-climate
tight layout with small courtyards > Itum Bahal
predominance of paved streets/ heat gain > Itum Bahal
"No-Greenery-inside” – Was this a wrong move?
Lachhi – setback for a sunny spot in narrow lanes
Lung space: peripheral Khyos
Eco-city: 3rd Cultural period
• Responding to 'dry regime’
– Use of water-accepting technologies
– Pervious paving, open joints
– Surface collector drains separated from deep drains –
irrigating the dula or recharging kuwa
– Use of wells inside tole and pit conduits between
neighborhoods > recharge through own waste water
> protecting from pollution >go to well
Eco-city: 3rd Cultural period
• Responding to 'waste sub-structure’
– Communal toilet streets, night soil collection and raw
sewage manure agri-practice- ‘output-input’ > Schema
– Waste management:garbage and Sagah
• Capitalization of micro-heat: composting
• Health hazard management: periodic cleaning through
seasonal rituals: Lukumadyo/Pasachahre (Chait) >go to pic
– Sithi: Cleaning and maintaining water supply systems
in the driest season (Baisakh/Jeth)
• Water for seeding
– Sithi: Maintaining other ‘urban services’ – public
buildings
• Lean agricultural season
v]tsf] k]6df k]6sf] v]tdf
FARM
FOOD
MANURE
WASTE
Recycling
Through
Use
of
Extra
Urban
Heat
*
Compost
and
Sagah
Eco-region: 2nd 3rd Cultural period
• Eco-region goes ‘global’ or valley-wide
• Further away, agricultural land and
forested hillocks protected and preserved.
• Watershed areas and sources of rivers
given religious image as a preservation
primer
• Ecological responses cover PES
environment and actors MSN in totality
Lessons of History
• Setting up the new motives and evolving ethical
behavior: ritually mediated plan
• Cities planned and patterned after a perceived
image of cosmos/ use mediated by rituals
• Accommodating growth but remaining complete
and balanced at all times as a mental construct
• Plan in the mind of the user
• Exploiting human ethics, individual faithfulness
and emotionally guided inner discipline
Lessons of History
• The Target of Future Generation
• In contemporary society with notoriously
shortsighted present/ development paradigm
centered on the present man
• ‘Future generation’ is not a fixed ‘time span’.
• Plans of indefinite time frame/process objectivity:
karma, dharma and philosophy of rebirth: rolling
present and future into infinite time/one entity.
• Buddhism and material frugality, 'virtuous
behavior and observance of social order' as a
life-principle in Confucianism
Lessons of History
• Bounded but Interacting Urban and Rural
systems
• Kathmandu Towns conceived as bounded
entities with set of perimeter gods and
goddesses defining physical boundary: taboo to
build outside
• Towns of Kathmandu on less irrigated tar: Utility
of bounding mundane: save the economic base.
• Distinct and protected hinterland for ecological
sustainability
Lessons of History
• Managing Dependencies
• Urban-rural
linkage/
two
inter-dependent
systems managing dependencies
– Containing overexploitation of resources, exclusive
exploitation and consequent deprivation of the rural
area and lack of commensurate return of the benefits
or other inputs back to the hinterland.
– Interacting activities seeking participation of both the
dwellers of the city and the hinterland in preserving
and maintaining the resource
• Festivals: ritual play or exercises in regionalism,
preservation and citizen participation
Lessons of History
• Land Donated in Perpetuity/ Community
ownership
• Effective tool of building sustainability through
community participation
• Creation, maintenance and operation of
elements and processes of providing public
good/ decentralized participatory management
• Appeal to philanthropic instincts to canalize
individual wealth into community good.
• Most precious and permanent of properties/
healthy association of land and community
Lessons of History
• Social cohesion in Multicultural society and
the town
• Saving sustainability in societal heterogeneity
• Efforts at making pockets of homogeneity.
• Sustainability of cultural diversity within multicultural societies: Mosaic scenario & not
religious neighborhoods
• Well within tole & Conduit between toles!
Graded community behavior?
• Other defined acts/ Karma and process
objectivity
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