Pioneering Urban Transformation: A Vision for Kathmandu’s Renaissance

Kathmandu, Nepal’s vibrant capital, finds itself at the crossroads of tradition and progress. As the city grapples with the challenges posed by rapid urbanization, a comprehensive vision for its future emerges. This vision centers on the creation of integrated cities within the city—an innovative concept that harmonizes modern infrastructure, heritage preservation, green spaces, and efficient transportation. Drawing inspiration from urban successes worldwide, with a special nod to cities like Singapore, this proposal envisions a multifaceted transformation that includes a Ring City, Heritage Cities, River Corridor City, Aerocity, and a central business and administrative district, collectively reshaping urban living in Kathmandu.

Paying tribute to the dedicated efforts of Kathmandu and Lalitpur’s metro mayors, Balendra Shah and Chiribabu Maharjan, for their tireless work in revitalizing the Kathmandu valley civilization with modern development initiatives. I would propose a mega redevelopment project, which can be materialized only through federal government initiative and strong support from local governments, local people and private sector.

1. The Ring City: A Web of Connectivity

Imagine a city within our city—a Ring City encircling the 27 KM ring road, extending its reach from 500 meters to a 1 KM radius. This ambitious vision seeks to enhance connectivity and accessibility, inspired by the world-class efficiency of Singapore’s transportation networks. The Ring City plan envisions a well-planned, ultra-wide ring road featuring flyovers and underpasses at intersections and an express line at the center. Seamlessly integrating with Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) systems, possibly through a metro rail system, this mirrors the seamless public transit system of Singapore. Why Ring City? Kathmandu’s core area is already overcrowded, necessitating a viable alternative—a city that revolves around the core, offering relief and sustainable expansion.

2. Heritage Cities: Weaving the Past into the Future

Our Heritage Cities pay homage to Kathmandu’s rich cultural tapestry. They stand as living testaments to our legacy while embracing the vibrancy of modernity. Iconic locations like Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, and Kirtipur Durbar Square are poised for revitalization. The aim is to preserve the elegance of their cultural heritage while seamlessly weaving in modern amenities—a delicate dance inspired by cities worldwide that have successfully merged the old and the new. Highways and MRTs will connect these heritage areas and extend beyond the Ring City to the four corners of the valley, including Dhulikhel, Thankot, Budhanilkantha, and Godawari.

3. River Corridor City: Reconnecting with Nature and Entertainment

Kathmandu’s rivers are dormant treasures waiting to be reawakened, similar to the riveting transformations witnessed in cities like Seoul and Melbourne. These cities transformed their riverbanks into vibrant, recreational wonderlands. The River Corridor City concept envisions lush, green utopias along the Bagmati, Bishnumati, Dhobikhola, and Manohora rivers. These riverbanks will evolve into bustling hubs of entertainment and tranquility, mirroring the captivating riverfront developments of Singapore. This vision offers a sanctuary where urbanites can escape the whirlwind of city life, rekindling their connection with nature.

4. Aerocity: The Modern Oasis at Our Doorstep

The Aerocity, strategically located just before our airport, stretches from Tilganga Hospital in the north to Tinkune in the south. Bounded by the Bagmati riverbank to the west and the ring road to the east, it emerges as a fusion of luxury and accessibility. This bustling neighborhood will feature top-tier hotels, glamorous shopping districts, and vibrant entertainment hubs. The blueprint draws inspiration from the thriving models of Dubai’s Airport City and Singapore’s Changi Airport development. The Bagmati riverbank, with its pristine waters, will serve as the confluence of Aerocity and the River Corridor City. Here, luxurious resorts beckon travelers to unwind by its banks, just a stone’s throw away from both the airport and the sacred Pashupatinath temple.

5. Embracing Everest’s Height: 8848 Buildings

As a proud ode to our iconic Mount Everest, we propose the creation of 8848 buildings, ranging from 48 to 88 meters in height. These towering edifices shall serve as constant reminders of our nation’s towering pride. They symbolize Kathmandu’s unique identity—a city that pays homage to its natural heritage while embracing the ever-evolving embrace of modernity.

6. Weaving a Central Business District: The Heartbeat of Progress

To elevate Kathmandu’s standing on the global stage, we propose the creation of a Central Business District within the Ring City. This district would be strategically positioned at the crossroads of Aerocity, Ring City, Heritage City, and the existing Central Administrative District, encompassing Singhadurbar and Babarmahal areas. This hub would pulsate with the energy of progress, serving as a focal point for commerce and innovation.

Implementation Strategy: A Shared Commitment

Land acquisition, often an arduous task, can be navigated through government-led initiatives. Leveraging strategies such as land pooling and thoughtfully designed housing slots for contributors, corporations, and redevelopment authorities, we can streamline this process. Drawing inspiration from the collaborative spirit seen in Singapore’s urban development, we advocate for public-private partnerships. These partnerships would see the government working hand-in-hand with local municipalities, particularly Kathmandu and Lalitpur metropolitan cities, to embark on this transformative journey. Recognizing that the Nepal government may not currently afford this mega redevelopment project, a foundation can be laid through the right policy on land acquisition and comprehensive supervision and facilitation of the city’s underground cables and drainage system. Public-private partnerships and Foreign Direct Investment can also play a significant role in realizing this world-class brownfield smart city project.


The path to creating integrated cities within Kathmandu is not just a road of concrete and steel; it’s a testament to visionary planning, unity, and an unwavering commitment to safeguarding our heritage and environment. Guided by the brilliance of cities like Singapore and other urban centers across the globe, this ambitious endeavor unfolds in phases. It begins with a pilot project encompassing the Ring City and Aerocity, followed by the rejuvenation of inner and peripheral ring road areas, culminating in the transformation of the outer ring road valley.

Through this transformative odyssey, Kathmandu has the potential to emerge as a beacon of urban excellence. Here, 70 percent of open land and 50 percent greeneries coexist seamlessly with systematic housing and the majestic 8848 buildings. The result is a dynamic, sustainable urban environment that pays tribute to our storied past, embraces the vibrant present, and propels us towards an even brighter future—a vision painted with the passionate brushstrokes of the author’s perspective.

KP Bhusal

Twitter: @kpbhusall

Contact: 9851243228