The new book Urban Planning in Nepal –Approaching Sustainability-authored by Dr. Jibgar Joshi, a renowned personality in the field of sustainable development and urban planning, could directly facilitate Nepali decision makers as they work out ways to develop various settlements in the country as per the spirit of federalism and modern engineering. The book, in offering a important insight into the way urban planning should be undertaken in the context of Nepal, serves actually as a tool to direct future development process.
Nepal is gradually moving towards urbanization and there is no other option. Proper and timely planning is required to make cities sustainable. That is why Dr. Joshi’s book is relevant for all in academia, professions and even futurists. The author rightly mentions in the Preface to the book: “Once considered as an extension of building as a part of civil engineering, urbanization now covers almost all the disciplines.” Dr. Joshi offers enough nutrition for many in his text, analysis and description by way of building on various 11 dimensions of urban planning.
The author is very much optimistic about Nepal’s progress towards a sustainable urbanization. Dwelling on the conflict currently being felt in growing demand for and inadequate supply of services, Dr. Joshi expresses confidence in engineers and planners particularly their skill, design, innovativeness, ICT-focused approach to respond to the conflict. Dr. Joshi advocates for province-specific and region-specific cities in Nepal. He considers the approach to be more pragmatic and to the tune of Nepal.
In reference to ICT, Dr. Joshi mentions : ” ICT is used to make efficient use of infrastructure such as roads and built environment with the help of artificial intelligence and data analytics. It helps cities to learn, adapt, and innovate. It implies e-participation of all in the governance of the city. The intelligence of the stakeholders improves due to e-governance. Their improved intelligence makes them able to respond better to changing circumstances. ”
The author has rightly emphasized in the book the need to transform urban planning for more effectiveness and relevance. He has offered a recipe for the same in a very interesting manner. The book could be used as text book and also a reference book. Moreover, it is a must for all those who are interested in understanding the core issues of urbanization.
Dr. Joshi’s observation in the book is really appealing: “the primary goal of planning is to enhance the public good.” Will those who are shaping planning at present for short-run political needs and manipulated popularity care to read the book?
The book underlines the need for building province–specific and region–specific cities in Nepal and provides guidance to provincial leadership for this, points out senior journalist RK Regmee in his foreword on the book. Besides providing readers with updated way of looking at city development and planning, the book will facilitate the decision makers, planners and builders to refresh their thinking and construction practices about the city and developments, he rightly concludes in the foreword.