ASF-INT Newsletter N11 July 2015
On June 2015, the Board and Members of ASF International network were in Nepal for our planned General Assembly meeting. We would like to extend our condolences to all the people who have lost loved ones, friends and colleagues as a result of the earthquakes on April 25th and May 12th.
During the course of the week we visited various towns and villages devastated by the earthquakes, and met with local and international NGO's and partners including our own local member organisation ASF Nepal, and we held our own Nepal Disaster Response Workshop with member organisations.
ASF International has started a facebook group to enhance informal communication between all members, please see the group here: ASF International Members.
ASF International Blog on the GA Week in Nepal
DAY 01 – First Impressions
On the first day of our week in Nepal, we travelled out of Patan into the north-western Kathmandu Valley to visit the heritage town of Sankhu. We had witnessed the damage and destruction the earthquake had caused within Patan and Kathmandu, but the scale of destruction in the heart of the town was completely devastating, with areas where it is difficult to even discern where exactly the destroyed buildings had stood.
DAY 02 - Challenging Practice
ASF-UK shared with the group a compressed Challenging Practice* Stage 2 seminar as part of the start of ‘trainer of trainers’ initiative within ASF-International.
The logic of this was for ASF Partner organisations (who weren’t involved in the development of the course) to understand how the seminars are prepared and delivered so that they will be able to deliver seminars in their own countries in the long-term.
DAY 03 - ASF Dialogue and Nepal Disaster Response Workshop
An intense day packed with talks and round table discussions.
It kicked off with the ASF DIALOGUE, a half-day conference held at the Department of Architecture of Tribhuvan University. The first speaker, Kishor Thapa, president of the Society of Nepalese Architects, introduced the position of the Nepalese government. He was followed by Surya Bhakta Sangachhe, of NSET (http://www.nset.org.np/), who presented very interesting ideas about involving the local people in the reconstruction of their damaged towns...
DAY 04 - Bungamati, Khokana and ASF-International Awards
We started the day in Bungamati and later moved to Khokana, Lalitpur. In both places we saw the devastating destruction of the earthquake, but in the first place we saw Nepalese that already had organised themselves in temporary constructions of a high standard to withstand the coming monsoon. The people we saw and met still showed good spirit and determination, moving one brick after another to take down collapsed houses. We also tested a survey to map the damage and the building skills within an area.
ASF-International Award 2015
In the evening, after another visit to Sanagaun, Harisiddhi we met at the Moshk Restaurant in Jhamsikhel for the results of the ASF-Award, an award to honour architects creating effective solutions to social, environmental and economic challenges facing the built environment.
The event was a combination of recognising the need that we are responding to, and rewarding the energy and creativity on display in the various projects submitted...
DAY 05 – ASF-International General Assembly
ASF-International’s General Assembly (GA) took place today in the Gokarna Forest Resort, a surprising oasis of green outside of Kathmandu.
Although this event was the main reason the group of organisations that make up the ASF- international network had come together in Nepal, we made the most of our time together this week, and the context we were in, to engage with the recent earthquake in Nepal alongside the GA.
DAY 06 – Board Meeting and visit to Bhaktapur
On our final day we split into two groups. Those that were part of the new ASF-International board had their first meeting (with some input from the outgoing board members) while the others explored the ancient Newar city of Bhaktapur. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is famous for its temples, wood carving and stone monuments. We were lucky to have as our guide Wolfgang Korn, author of ‘The Traditional Architecture of the Kathmandu Valley’ who led us around this majestic city, explaining the history of the buildings, and the significance of what the earthquake had destroyed.
Our Shared Urban Future
Reflections from outgoing ASF-International Chair Peter Newton
It is stated regularly that we are now an urban species since 50% of the world’s population now live in cities. This fact is stated as if we have achieved something, as if we have reached our destination or some kind of goal or threshold. It is just a moment in our history, however, it’s just a number. We are in the midst of the biggest migration in human history.
Over the next 15 years the number of people living in cities will swell to about 5 billion...
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