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Allen Bailochan Tuladhar
Email: b-altula@microsoft.com

MIC Manager:
Junu Thapa
Email: b-juthap@microsoft.com

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Problem Statement for CityApp

App that provides the location's demographics

Summary: In Kathmandu, population growth is skyrocketing and rapid urban growth can be seen all around the valley, farmland, riverside, and even in cultural sites. Movement of unknown and new people nearby anyone’s home could be a threat to people because it is important to know the demographics of those new comers for the safety reasons. Also, when a new traveler travels to Kathmandu and has to look for cheap and comfortable hotels, they have to travel for hours to look for the hotels and restaurants of their preference. When people want to move from one place to another due to lack of proper travelling information, it takes longer hours to reach even in the nearby places. This shows a need of application that explains which route is the fastest and cheapest and also to provide the information on the new comers in the community.

Problem Statement: Nepal in the current time has been urbanizing rapidly, but the sustainability of urbanization is susceptible due to the scarcity of effective planning and growing infrastructure deficits. The 10 year long conflict in Nepal has led to a huge migration from remote areas of Nepal to the Kathmandu valley. This growing population has forced the government of Nepal to think seriously on this issue. There are thousands of increased slum dwellers living in Kathmandu, especially on the river banks. These people barely know each other. It is very important to know the new people residing in the neighborhood to make sure that they are good and the living environment is safe and sound. When suddenly new people start residing in the next apartment or next floor or building, it is good to know their identity including age, educational attainment, households, children, transportation to work and many more. Crime rate could be high when unknown people are around the living residence.

Similarly, when people from countryside come for their work in capital and have to stay few days, due to the lack of proper information on hotels and restaurants, they keep travelling from one place to another. It takes hours for them to get their preferable hotels to stay over nights.

Need Statement: Government and local people need to know who are residing next to their places whether it is nearby buildings, rooms or the floors. People should know the basic identity of people next door so that they can build trust among each other without hesitation. Knowing the surrounding information like transportation to work is also confusing in Kathmandu at the moment. It is more important to have correct directions to travel from one place to another. For the new people, it is important to know the payment rate of the apartment/hotels so that they could book it in advance. It has also come to notice that people from rural areas travelling to Kathmandu have problem for few nights stay in hotels or lodges due to the unavailability of proper information on housing rates. After finishing their work at their first day in Kathmandu, people have to go from one hotel to another asking for a free place and rate. If the rate is too high, then people keep travelling from one hotel to another to negotiate their affordable rate. This is troublesome and loss of time for the travelers. An application is needed to reduce all these movement problems from one place to another. An application is needed that let neighbors know who is living next to whom with how many family members including their basic demographics. An application is needed so that travelers have the information about hotels and the rate of the hotels. An application is needed to know which direction is faster and cheaper to take for/ from the work.

Impact Assessment: When people use these applications, then crime rate would be lowered as people are aware of who is living next door and can build a trust among each other. People are aware about the demographics of the new neighbor. When travelers have the knowledge of fast and cheap route to take to go to work, it is much more efficient for their work. If hotels and lodges including restaurants have proper address and websites, people can use the applications to find out a cheaper and comfortable place to stay and eat.

App that briefs daily news, job listings, and feature stories of urban planning and development

Summary:  Newspapers have important information that people need to know every day. Due to many reasons people are not able to read the newspapers whether that is lack of availability of the newspapers or the expenses to buy it every day (mostly for unemployed ones). There is a need to spread the top news of the country especially on issues like urbanization so that citizens are aware of what is good and what is bad before they plan things like building houses or buying vehicles. To make it more feasible, an application could be developed which could have important news on urbanization issues. It could also include issues related to jobs vacancies and feature both successful and unsuccessful stories of urbanization.

Problem Assessment: The rapidly growing and modernizing city of Kathmandu is having problems related to urban management and environmental sustainability. Such rapid expansion and modernization of all the cities in Kathmandu has made the urban management increasingly unsustainable. The current growth of population is clearly unsustainable if appropriate housing, infrastructure, water supply and other necessary urban amenities cannot be in the same pace with the rate of population growth. For example, the use of electricity generators, even if at present it is bestowing self-sufficiency to people and business they are unsustainable in the long run because of its consumption of petrol. Kathmandu is having overstrained infrastructure burden at present which is also leading to the rapid decline of the environmental quality. Haphazard housing, lack of drinking water, pollution, traffic jams are some of the problems that Kathmandu is facing. Given that Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, people all over from Nepal aspire to come and stay in Kathmandu for the better work opportunities, education, and other opportunities.

Need Assessment: Citizens from Kathmandu need to know proper information when they are building houses. At the moment, the city corporation is destructing the houses nearby the main ring roads is Kathmandu. People were protesting against the government for the destruction of the houses.  Before such forced collapsing of houses occur, it is very important that citizens follow strict rules on the government’s rules and regulations on the constructions of houses. An application is needed so that citizens are aware of the future consequences like deconstruction of their houses. The app would let people know how much distance to leave when they are constructing the house in the road sides. There should also be a corner in the app where people could see the successful and unsuccessful stories to avoid same mistakes in the future. The app may contain blogs featuring an exchange of ideas from prominent thinkers and practitioners in various dimensions of urban planning, management, and development. The app should be like a blog so that a newcomer in the capital knows about the job availability.

Impact Assessment: The application would reduce the problems like forced deconstructions of the housing.  There were cases when people build the house in the main roads of capital city without realizing the exact amount of distances that they need to leave for the road. To avoid such mistakes, the application would allow people to follow the fixed rules that the government fixes in the website. The app would also help the citizens to find the news about urbanizations including the successful and unsuccessful stories from previous experiences and the development procedures. This would be a lesson for citizens to avoid the government penalty in the future. Exchanging ideas in the blog would help people realize the goods and the bad sides of urbanization. Getting to know about the job availability in urbanization sector would encourage people to use the application more.


Our Open Spaces

 

Context

Public open spaces are decreasing in the Kathmandu valley, and with increased population and urbanization, the management of previously present ones are shadowed. This is in contrast to the denizen’s need of public open spaces to socialize, to use during time of disaster, to spend free time in public interactions and for other activities that increase the interaction among different age groups.

 

Statement of Problem

Kathmandu has around 83 open spaces, however not all of them are accessible to public. The open spaces are not well managed and lack the facilities that give people sense of utility and comfort. On the other hand, people are also not aware about the significance of particular open spaces and the facilities they can enjoy in those places. This is the reflection of the lack of easily accessible information and lack of proper management with people centric approach.

 

Lack of social interactions has resulted into concerns of social security, and urban poor are among the most that are facing the loss.

 

Need Statement

The public open spaces must be made more and more people centric. They need to be provided information about general as well as specific significances of the open spaces. The time spent by people in open spaces needs to be relaxing as well as creative so that the people have a positive image helping to impart the civic sense in an individual.

 

Thus an ‘App’ is needed;

ü  to provide interesting details of the public open spaces - once a person reaches there and selects the place in the application (this can also feature cultural and archaeological contents as well)

ü  Do’s an Do Not’s of the particular public open space

ü  Facilities one can get in the particular open space

ü  Report to municipality (or concerned body) about any mal-practices ongoing (live-complaints)

ü  Feedback on what would make one the open space more interactive and useful for the visitor

 

Anticipated Impact

This will help the authorities/concerned stakeholders manage the public open spaces and will give people better sense of responsibility while fully utilizing the facilities and amenities present in the public open spaces. While social security will be improved for all, urban poor will be the people benefiting most from this kind of support.

Address

Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal
Unlimited Technology P Ltd
Unlimited Building, PO Box 956, Khichapokhari, Opp Pashupati Plaza, Kathmandu
Tel: +977 1 2011302 / 2011303 / 2010311
Fax: +977 1 4255454
Email: mic@micnepal.org    

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