Our Dream City – Bagmati Promenade

Prijun Koirala

9 months ago

Our Dream City is a campaign designed by StoryCycle that focuses on empowering local youth and communities to take an active part in designing and making their places vibrant by using technology. The campaign focuses on enabling instigators with digital tools, arts and a platform to engage their own community as well as civic processes.  

StoryCycle made a partnership with the British Council as part of their 60-year’s program in Nepal to engage young stakeholders from the area to do a series of mapping exercises wherein tools like audio visual, images and text were used to weave narratives exploring the socio-political and historical stories of the Bagmati area as a part of Our Dream City Campaign(ODC).

15 youths were selected through Open Call application and collaboration with the local government and 3 day StoryCamp and Mapup Camp was organized which developed some historical and religious stories of teku thapathali stretch.  40+ places were added in the google maps and small narratives of around 30 places were created.  

Based on the information gathered, we designed a three kilometer heritage walkway and gave  it the name of “ Bagmati Promenade”. The promenade is designed to cater to the demand for the heritage walks with interest shown by the upcoming generation and the city dwellers. The event captured and shared information and stories of the various heritage structures along the pathway, highlighting the historic, cultural, architectural significance as well as the environmental impacts.More than four hundred participants  gathered altogether throughout the month-long heritage walks under different themes and have influenced critical mass from enthusiasts and experts to support the campaign. Dozen of leaders such as Heritage Experts, Engineers, Architects, Government Officials, Sustainable Mobility Enthusiasts, Storytellers and Priests lead the thematic walks. 

Such walking trails in the field of heritage emphasize the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and provide a wonderful opportunity to understand the history of cities and the cities that have changed over time. This program tinted the conservation of heritage by highlighting more important historical and cultural issues. It links historical events, religious and social life with modern society.

WoW Madhesh – Digital Storytelling Workshop

StoryCycle, as another preliminary event towards WoW Festival, under Our Dream City campaign, organized two digital storytelling workshops in Janakpur and Birgunj. The workshop focused on collecting stories of local people from a gender perspective and attempt to document changes in the dynamics of young girls. We encouraged young women to tell their stories of gender equality and engaged them in a discussion about their challenges in a Madhesi community. The women were especially interested to highlight the safe and unsafe streets around their city. Based on their standpoint,  maps of Janakpur and Birgunj were designed which were showcased in the WOW Festival.  Through the maps, we were able to interact with  the participants  and get opinions of over 200+ women. If you want more details, click here.

Virtual Heritage Tour

In April 2020, we announced ‘Bagmati Promenade’ to bring in all the past walk leaders, government representatives, architects, urban planners, travel agencies in one place together to discuss the next actions to promote and preserve the historical significance of Teku-Thapathali stretch. As the covid-19 took over the world and when WHO declared the situation ‘Pandemic’, we had to come up with a new way to bring everyone together. This was when Virtual Heritage Tour began. VHT is an online event where you are able to discover a multitude of tours, talks and other events in your city and at the same time, you will be able to interact with heritage and celebrate culture from the comfort of your homes as you practice social distancing. VHT will facilitate online heritage tour series where you can read articles, watch videos, listen to interviews and browse image galleries. The first tour was Bagmati promenade and till now we have done five virtual tours of places such as Barpak, Lumbini, Everest and Dhe.

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