Go-GRID Launched In Pokhara and Butwal
Go-GRID is a design-thinking bootcamp using hands-on, human-centred design as a key method to illustrate how built infrastructure can adapted to Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) principles, improving city sustainability and liveability. NURP held the introductory class online on 30th January 2023, welcoming participants from the two cities and introducing the topics of green, resilient and inclusive infrastructure along with related best practices, design-thinking approach & procedures, municipality-specific priority themes & potential projects that will be the main point of discussion and practice throughout the four-month long course.
The first class welcomed 19 participants from Pokhara and 16 participants from Butwal with a higher participation of women from each city (58% in Pokhara, 62% in Butwal). The participants stem from diverse academic backgrounds spanning urban planning, engineering, architecture, education, health, environmental science, journalism, and rural development, to name a few. The majority of the students hold post-graduate degrees and have up to 15 years of experience in their varied fields with many currently working in public office, development projects, NGOs, private firms, academia or as freelance consultants. Urban planning is not a concern only for urban planners and engineers, but for he entire society including sociologists, economists and development experts. This range of participants’ knowledge and experience will aid greatly in making the Go-GRID program a more inclusive, comprehensive and enriching experience.
Throughout this first session, participants discussed the use of green building materials to reduce energy consumption in the urban cities of Nepal and the need to educate clients from the private and public sector to align with green, resilient and inclusive practices for infrastructure design.
In the upcoming months, the Go-GRID program will be carried out in a hybrid fashion – a mix of online and in-person sessions – through which the participants will (i) develop shared understanding on various issues that affect public infrastructure and resources, (ii) promote design-thinking amongst municipal asset providers and managers, (iii) ensure the replicability and scalability of design ideas, and (iv) highlight the value-addition of inter-disciplinary and inter-agency collaboration as well as community experiences for the delivery and development of design ideas. In the next sessions, the Go-GRID workshop will dive into the context of inclusive local economic development, green infrastructure, local governance, and gender and social inclusion, as well as the more practical approaches of problem identification and site analysis. Sessions will focus on the themes around which the design thinking bootcamp has been curated for the two cities:
- Pedestrianisation of the Lakeside drive area in Pokhara
- Neighbourhood planning and design of Old Batauli in Butwal
The next Go-GRID sessions will be held in-person – from February 15 – 17 in Pokhara and from February 22-24 in Butwal.