Helin & Co Designs a City of over Half a Million Inhabitants in Nepal

Helin & Co Architects will design an urban area of about 50 square kilometres for 500 000–700 000 inhabitants in Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. The area lies on the northern side of Bhaktapur, the old capital of the country and a UNESCO world heritage site.

– Nature in Kathmandu Valley is delicate and under great pressure. The area will be designed and constructed with high respect for the local culture and in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, says architect Pekka Helin.

The new development will not interfere with the virgin nature of the valley but will densify the areas of existing villages, which so far have no infrastructure. The area will also be provided with schools and other public buildings.

Architect Mariitta Helineva says that the social, economic and environmental aspects will be taken into account in the design of the new urban area.

Nepalese authorities have drafted a strategic plan of sustainable development and a land-use plan extending to 2035. These will also guide the work of the Finnish architects and engineers in Kathmandu Valley.

Helin & Co Architects was selected for the job on the basis of their previous work on urban architecture projects.

The design work will be done in collaboration with the Nepalese engineering firm JK Associates. The engineering experts of the Finnish team are from Sustecon, VTT and Sito.

The development of a new urban area provides lots of possibilities for Finnish know-how, whether it is a matter of constructing infrastructure, cleantech, energy solutions or streets.

– We will analyse what ecological solutions are suitable for this particular area and these people. Technical solutions must always be localised, says Åsa Hedman of Sustecon. She will coordinate the analysing of the technical systems of the project.

In this project, architects and technical experts will work in close collaboration. The Finnish team will devise a master plan proposal and related technical designs. Decisions will be made by local authorities.

Work on the project starts immediately.

A significant project for the Nepalese

This project is extremely important for the Nepalese. Kathmandu has grown into a city of over 2.5 million inhabitants without a proper city plan. The population of Kathmandu Valley is estimated to grow to four million by 2020.

The rapid population growth of the area has caused numerous problems in building, traffic, dwelling and energy production. Clean water distribution, wastewater management and electricity distribution meet difficulties every day. These problems are planned to be solved by connecting Finnish top expertise with local know-how. The Finnish team has experience in challenging international projects. Sustecon, for instance, has been developing waste management in Myanmar.

Kathmandu Valley has been populated for thousands of years and there are cultural monuments of both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Helin & Co has been involved in several urban architecture projects in Finland, Norway, South Korea and China. Norway’s Fornebu was granted a European Urban and Regional Planning Award (ECTP-CEU) in 2014. Helin & Co made the concept plan and master plan.

Further information Architect Mariitta Helineva, Helin & Co Architects, 358 50 344 6688