Kathmandu, Nepal
City population: 1003000
Duration: 2021 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Meso-scale: Regional, metropolitan and urban level
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Public Greenspace Area, Central Business District / City Centre
Last updated: November 2021

The Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) Mapping is the initiative for Identification, Mapping, and Promotion of Blue and Green Infrastructures for Sustainable Urban Ecosystem in the city of Kathmandu. In line with the 2021 World Environment Day (WED) theme “Ecosystem Restoration”, the consortium of NAXA and Institute of Himalayan Risk Reduction (IHRR) officially launched the initiative. All the datasets will be made public through both the open data portal and the OpenStreetMaps. The mapping has only started and until now, it has only mapped the blue infrastructures (rivers, canals, ponds, wetlands, floodplains and water treatment facilities). The green infrastructures will include lawns, parks, fields, forests, greenprints, natural asset maps, ecological networks and street trees. [1, 2]

Pond in Kathmandu
https://bgi.utilitymaps.org/

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Alley and street greens
  • Green parking lots
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries
  • Wetlands/bogs/fens/marshes

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Flood protection
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape/infrastructure

Focus

Knowledge creation and awareness raising, Monitoring of habitats and/or biodiversity

Project objectives

1. Mainstreaming blue and green infrastructure on the development policies of the urbanizing cities of Nepal. 2. Identification, mapping, and exploring the measures for conserving and restoring traditional ponds, stone pouts, etc for sustainable urban ecosystems in the core urban areas of rapidly urbanising cities. 3. Preparing a dynamic inventory through systematic and scientific data collection and engaging the youths in its management through the concept of young citizen scientists. 4. Develop a user-friendly, dynamic and comprehensive web platform to visualize the BGI within the city, and regularly update the information through cloud sourcing. 5. Conduct series of research, policy dialogues, and share the best practices on BGI bringing policymakers, decision-makers, researchers, practitioners, students, youths and community stakeholders in a common platform. 6. Orient the stakeholders to adopt locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions. [1, 2]

Implementation activities

Completed activities: 1. Traditional blue infrastructures like Hitis and ponds were studied within the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Mobilized citizen scientists to collect information, photographs and other attribute datasets. Developed an interactive platform to map and visualize the information of Hitis and ponds. 2. Developed a web interface to visualize the trees alongside roads. A partnership initiative with another organization youth innovation lab during their Save Trees Campaign. 3. A field-based data collection and survey by a team of surveyors to identify Blue infrastructures (particularly hitti (stone spouts) and ponds) within the KMC under the fellowship. 4. Identification of 156 locations, mainly, operational and management status of the infrastructure –stone spouts and ponds. 5. Mobilized surveyors to collect photographs and other attribute datasets of Blue Infrastructures. 6. Discussions with local stakeholders (municipal office, ward office, representatives from local communities) with respect to the current situation, and the cultural significance of these traditional amenities. 7. Created a web-based interactive mapping platform/ web portal to outline and visualize the blue infrastructure datasets. The team has further laid out some short-term and long-term plans regarding the green infrastructure mapping in the city, which is yet to be done. [2]

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Implement solutions to capture/store water to increase its availability and prevent shortages from droughts
  • Create or improve outdoor spaces to help people escape from urban heat
  • Other

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Preserve and strengthen existing habitats and ecosystems
  • Preserve and strengthen habitat connectivity
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness
  • Public engagement
  • Capacity building
  • Protect and apply traditional knowledge and conservation practices

Main beneficiaries

  • National-level government
  • Local government/Municipality
  • Citizens or community groups

Governance

Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Private sector/corporate actor/company
  • Social enterprise

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Citizen science

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The initiative is led by the NAXA and the Institute of Himalayan Risk Reduction (IHRR). The consortium is partnering with the Geomatic Engineering Society at Kathmandu University to organize the Mapathon activity. [2, 3]

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? No
... a local policy or strategy? No

Financing

Total cost

Unknown

Source(s) of funding

  • Unknown

Type of funding

  • Unknown

Non-financial contribution

Unknown

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Strengthened capacity to address climate hazards/natural disasters
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Reduced risk of damages by drought
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Promotion of naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased number of protection areas
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Reduced biodiversity loss

Economic impacts

  • Reduce financial cost for urban management

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Safety
  • Improved community safety to climate-related hazards
  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Increased involvement of locals in the management of green spaces
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature
  • Protection of natural heritage
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape / infrastructure
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

Yes

Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

Yes

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

Yes

References

BGI Mapping
https://bgi.utilitymaps.org/
Information about this nature-based solution was collected as part of the UNA global extension project funded by the British Academy.