The Story Of Nil Devi

Nil Devi is the chairperson of the Women’s Committee of Chohel Nani, a committee chosen by the community to be in charge of the development and construction of the public resthouse, and the reconstruction of the chowk. 

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Project Development

Our goal is to develop, in cooperation with the community, a flexible strategy for the construction of a building that can solve the immediate need for training and offer a place for discussions, which in the long term can strengthen the community’s  resilience.

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Heritage report

In parallel with the development of the project, we have produced a heritage report. Heritage is the cross-cutting theme of our work, both in terms of tangible assets and intangible heritage such as traditional livelihoods and cultural practices.

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Project Development

Based on our surveys, taken from an interface of the population, community consultations and research, we have been able to develop the project in a way that safeguards the complexity of the cultural, historical and administrative situation. We are, through a laborious process, now drawing closer to a final proposal.

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The Public Resthouse

Often referred to as a ‘Public rest house’ the Pati/Sattal is a typology which houses both tangible and intangible heritage. In old Newari settlements, it is frequently seen and easily distinguishable as a social hub where anyone can take temporary shelter with no restriction.

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Methodology

In order to ensure a neutral and rewarding dialogue with all parts of those affected by this project, we use methods that are concerned with exploring needs, values and aspirations of residents as well as confronting their individual and collective aspirations for the project.

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Developing the Pilot Project

This stage of the project continues to support the community in Chohel Nani as they begin to reconstruct their houses as well as developing our research of Chohel Nani’s intangible and tangible heritage to determine which community-led project our training intervention can help facilitate.

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5: Design

The last structured meeting in this series addressed the reconstruction of Chohel Nani in a collective and coherent way with a focus on keeping the cultural heritage intact as well as integrating the aspect of safety into the design.

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4: Economy

One of the greatest challenges people affected by the earthquake are facing is the economy. With agriculture as the main source of income, most are not in a position to save money for rebuilding or even apply for a loan. Their only solution is, therefore, to know how to use the sparse government grant and to be clever in their reconstruction methods.

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3: Safety

Our third structured meeting was aimed at helping the community clarify various concerns regarding how to build back their home safely, including some important design aspects of earthquake resistant buildings and the behaviour of materials.

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1: Collaboration

We had our first structured meeting with the community of Chohel Nani with an agenda to organise a committee of the neighbourhood and hear about their specific needs and aspirations on how residents could reconstruct through collaboration.

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Chohel Nani

After analysing four key focus sites in Bungamati, Chohel Nani tole was chosen as a place to conduct a pilot project for a temporary learning centre. The choice was based on Chohel Nani’s strong community connection to the square and the qualities of its existing Pati.

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September workshop

During the international workshop, run in September 2016 with 34 international and 10 local participants, the participants worked alongside residents to co-design strategies for Bungamati, focusing on design, planning and building techniques.

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About Resilience by Design

Resilience by Design is a programme that unites a series of live projects and international workshops exploring socio-ecological issues in the context of rapid urban change, climate hazards, environmental and man-made disasters, resource scarcities and depleted ecosystems.

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