Expanding Biophilic Citu Design Theory:A Study of Incorporating Nature into the urban design elements of Kathmandu_Moti Gurung.pdf

ABSTRACT

Kathmandu, the historic capital city of Nepal, has sustained development environmentally and ecologically for more than a millennium; however, the city now faces a wide range of urban problems. A rapidly increasing population and unmanaged urbanization have severely degraded the city's urban climate and environment, resulting in a dense urban area with little or no open spaces, narrow roads, and a lack of adequate greeneries and green spaces. Nature in urban areas vitally contributes to the quality of urban life, and subsequently the recognition of the importance of restoring and inserting nature within cities is increasing worldwide. Biophilia posits that humans have the innate inclination to affiliate with nature. Recognizing this inherent human need to connect with nature, biophilic city design theory suggests integrating nature into the design, planning, and management of a city through various biophilic urban design strategies that range in scale from buildings to regions. This work presents an applied research of biophilic urban design principles in Kathmandu. This thesis has made an attempt to address Kathmandu’s degrading urban nature by completing a feasibility assessment of the biophilic urban design strategies in the context of contemporary and vernacular Kathmandu, which generated some recommendations for incorporating nature into the city’s urban environment. A general assessment of Kathmandu’s biophilic levels has also been carried out to assess which qualities of a biophilic city are met, which are not and what are new. In the course of completing this project I have further identified a larger issue: non-Western approaches and spiritual aspects of biophilia within biophilic city design theory. Biophilic city design theory was developed through observing innovative strategies and practices in North American and European contexts. But these biophilic urban design strategies might not be applicable to the other non-Western cities with different social, cultural, economic, and environmental backgrounds. Further, the moralistic affinity to nature encompasses strong feelings of affinity, spiritual reverence, and ethical responsibility to the natural world. The spiritual reverence to nature also inspires people to conserve and protect nature. In the comprehensive list of key qualities for a biophilic city, this spiritual aspect of biophilia has been overlooked in favor of other moralistic experiences of nature. Therefore, studying biophilia in Kathmandu, a non-Western context, this thesis has endeavored to develop a broader and well- rounded definition of biophilic city design theory.

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Work Title Expanding Biophilic Citu Design Theory:A Study of Incorporating Nature into the urban design elements of Kathmandu_Moti Gurung.pdf
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Penn State
Creators
  1. Moti Maya Gurung
Keyword
  1. Biophilia, Biophilic city, Kathmandu, Urban nature
License All rights reserved
Work Type Dissertation
Acknowledgments
  1. Peter J. Aeschbacher
Publication Date 24th September 2014
Language
  1. English
Deposited September 24, 2014

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