Reconfiguring the traditional knowledge system for providing earthquake resistance: The case of post-disaster reconstruction of Khokana Village, Nepal


Paisajes culturales
Comunidades locales
Configuración espacial
Memoria colectiva
Adaptabilidad comunitaria Cultural landscapes
Local communities
Spatial configuration
Collective memory
Community resilience


Cultural landscapes represent a closely woven net of inter-relationships between people, events and places over time; they are a symbol of the growing recognition of the fundamental links between local communities and their heritage, between people and their natural environment, and are hence crucial to their identity. In architectural projects like post-disaster reconstruction, which revolves around the needs of the communities decimated by a disaster, decisions taken become especially critical, as they have a long-term impact on the community and its built environment. It therefore requires one to take into account the cultural, social, and environmental context. This paper considers the case of Khokana, a traditional Newari settlement in the Kathmandu valley, in order to study its spatial configuration, determined by its socio-cultural activities, through the lens of collective memory mapping. It further analyzes the repercussions on the intangible values and tangible built environment of the community following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, and proposes a new design approach based on an understanding of Khokana’s traditional knowledge system and practices. Finally, we propose a model to achieve community resilience while keeping the community’s values and spatial ethos intact.


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