A community Park in Kathmandu
The Nandi Keshar Bagaicha located in Naxal, Kathmandu-1 is an example of urban space planning incorporating community participation. The ‘Nandi Keshar Bagaicha Bewasthapan Samudayik Sewa Kendra’ took an initiative to end the misuse of a prime public property and transform it into valuable multi functional socio-cultural space in Naxal. Plans for Nandi Keshar Bagaicha were prepared by Prabal Thapa Architects in 2070 BS (2013 AD). The park serves not only as a green urban space but also as a disaster management zone for the inhabitants of Naxal area. Coincidentally the park was completed in February 2015 just months prior to the great Gorkha Earthquake of April 2015, when it served its full purpose.
The following presentation was presented to the ‘Nandi Keshar Bagaicha Bewasthapan Samudayik Sewa Kendra’ at a public hearing at the community center in 2069 BS.
The space covers about 10,266 sq. m. of land area. The area is surrounded by historical Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Nagpokhari Pond, Shankha Kirti Mahavihar, Nepal Police Headquarters, educational institutions, residential buildings and apartments, along with major corporate offices and financial institutions. Hence, there is a huge potential to develop the area as a multi-purpose open space. Due to the diversity of land use around the area, the locality remains mobile most of the time.
The central area of the space has been left open as green space for multipurpose use as well as for post disaster recovery. Sitting areas have been created for children and elderly. A walkway has been constructed around and connected with four access point at north, south, east and west. The park is especially designed to help ground water recharge, promote rain water harvesting and decrease air pollution. As the one of the first emergency rescue spaces in the Kathmandu Valley, the space includes the construction of recharge well, grease chamber, rapid sand filter, and soak pit that could be highly useful in case of emergency.
Recharge wells are constructed in Nandi Keshwor Bagaicha to conserve and use the excess water runoff in order to recharge the ground water table using underground storage. To facilitate accessibility, 3.5 m wide footpaths, with trees on both sides, have been constructed in and around the site using interlocking concrete block. For differently abled population, altogether 8 ramps, two on each gate (size 2.5m x 1m x 0.45m), have been constructed. In addition, railings have been erected along the outer boundary walls of the park, with the provision of entry points at four corners. The concept of railings was not fully accepted initially considering the usage of the space as emergency evacuation zone. However, its construction was considered important mainly to safeguard the park from unattended animals, and illegal usage of the area for commercial purpose. Additionally, to reduce acoustic disturbance from surroundings using landscape design, mounds of approximate height 1.8 m have been built at the four corners of the garden; and trees are planted along the periphery of the space