Amara Roca Iglesias: The project builds on work done (2014-2017) by RIBA Part 2 and research students at the CASS School of Architecture at London Metropolitan University, within the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) research and teaching area, to develop water themed design speculations for recently embanked floodplains alongside a 3.5km stretch of the Bagmati river, central to the cities of Kathmandu and Patan, Nepal. Bordered by historic temples and rest houses, hosting gardens and declared a UN City Park, this land is home to both recent urban migrants and the Bagmati Water Festival celebrating the relationship between citizens and the river. This riverside territory offers common ground for testing and demonstrating water collection, storage, treatment and distribution methods to supply local residents and the urban network more widely. The project aims to make rainwater catchment, waste and river water treatment, local, highly visible and exciting in order to create an active relationship between the topography of water management and the citizens of Kathmandu and Patan. Proposals will include making the process of producing clean water for drinking, bathing and leisure accessible to all ages. Existing cultural institutions will become hosts for farming rooms on formerly vacant flood land. The infusion of productivity and experimentation will recast this neglected urban landscape as something far more civic. The lessons learned from this reinterpreted riverine centre will provoke the greening of the rest of the metropolis helping to define a new relationship between nature and the city.
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