Impact of natural disasters on rapid urban change in Kathmandu, Nepal

Authors: Megha Shrestha*, Auburn University, Dr. Chandana Mitra, Auburn University
Topics: Urban Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: South Asia, Natural Disaster, Cities, Urbanization, Disaster Impact
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Maurepas, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

About 66 percent of the global population is expected to be urban by 2050 (United Nations, 2015). Most of the global urban population will increase in developing nation mostly concentrated in Asia and Africa (United Nations, 2015). Though being the least urbanized country in the world, Nepal is one of the top ten fastest urbanizing countries in Asia with a level of urbanization of 18.2 percent since 2014 and rate of urbanization of 3 percent. Kathmandu, being the capital of the country, has witnessed the most rapid urbanization with an annual population growth rate of 4.3 percent. Kathmandu is a valley surrounded by hills. Due to this, there is not much scope for urban sprawl technically but irrespective of physical barriers, unsolicited and unstable structures are built on the hillslopes. The expanding city has various environmental impacts, loss of fertile agriculture land, land and air pollution, scarcity of drinkable water, water pollution and land fragmentation, to name a few. Monitoring and understanding urban growth is an area of interest to forecast future urban growth and prepare policies and plans to better manage the ongoing urbanization process in Kathmandu Valley. Thus, the focus of this research is to understand the historical urban growth trends of Kathmandu past few decades, what was the drivers of such unprecedented growth, and predict the future growth pattern using SLEUTH model. Finally do a qualitative assessment of the impacts of natural disasters on future growth scenarios.

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